Emergency help is just a quick phone call away at 2-1-1


2-1-1 Brevard communications manager Belinda Stewart helps with a photo shoot for a marketing campaign for Help Me Grow Brevard, a state-funded program to promote healthy child development.

Viera Voice Courtesy of 2-1-1 Brevard

By dialing 2-1-1, help is just a phone call away, for those in emotional, financial or community crisis.

"2-1-1 Brevard Inc. is a private, not-for-profit, 24-hour hotline serving Brevard County, Florida," the website states. This includes suicide intervention services.

Belinda Stewart is Communications Manager. She helps people get help.

"We connect people with whatever community, government or social-service resources they may need," she said.

For more than 40 years, the telephone-based helpline has offered crisis intervention, information and referral services. In the last fiscal year, specialists logged about 50,000 calls.

Callers have ranged in age from ten, to their 90s. Stewart recalled a young caller who had become a "cutter."

"This is someone who cuts him or herself to relieve emotional pain, often in secret," Stewart said.

2-1-1 Brevard helped to get family members involved and outside help.

Stewart spoke of another caller in her 90s.

"She had become afraid of living alone because she could no longer help herself," Stewart said.

The organization rallied assistance.

Most callers are young to middle-aged people struggling financially.

"They are living paycheck to paycheck and situations such as a job loss, injury or rent increase have turned that into a crisis," Stewart said.

In addition to the hotline, Stewart cited organizational programs and partnerships that address special populations. They include:

People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Brevard Homeless Coalition is a partner.

Families with young children through Help Me Grow to promote healthy child development. Partners include the Early Learning Coalition of Brevard, Space Coast Early Steps and United Way of Brevard.

Veterans and military families through the Brevard Veterans Resource Network, Viera Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, Melbourne Vet Center and Community Foundation for Brevard.

People with medically related and other needs, in partnership with Parrish Medical Center.

Stewart derives great job satisfaction.

"I enjoy that I meet and work with people all over the county, in all walks of life. Many are in the business of giving back to their communities," she said.

Dial 2-1-1 for help. For information, call 321-631-9290 or go to the website 211brevard.org/.