Hispanic Heritage Month is observed September 15 - October 15 every year in America to celebrate the culture, contributions, and history of those who trace their ancestry to Spain, Mexico, Central, and South America, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations.
According to the Census Bureau, as of 2020, the Hispanic population comprises 10.6% (908,749) of the Commonwealth of Virginia's total population, and 24 jurisdictions have more than 5,000 Latinx residents.
211 Virginia has made significant progress connecting Hispanic and Latinx populations to resources and information since 2019. As a result of COVID-19, we experienced a nearly 15% increase in calls from Spanish-speaking individuals in 2020-2021, prompting several actions to improve our accessibility that we continue to build on today.
In 2020-2021, we grew from one full-time bilingual specialist to five full-time bilingual specialists, and as a result, the number of Spanish calls handled by a bilingual specialist increased by 281%.
In 2021 - 2022, we handled over 3,800 Spanish calls and chats, and bilingual specialists handled 78% of those calls and chats.
With CARES Act funding, the 211 Virginia database was upgraded to include the ability to collect race and ethnicity data independently.
In 2022, we added two native speakers of Spanish to our Community Engagement team and one with Spanish proficiency.
Check out our 2021-2022 Annual Report! It was quite a year as a record number of people turned to 211 Virginia seeking assistance. The annual report highlights our response to COVID-19 and community recovery, who is looking for resources, top met and unmet needs, how we're serving the Commonwealth through partnerships, and more! Click here to access our annual report.
National Minority Mental Health Month is observed each year in the month of July to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States. These struggles include quality of care, access to care, and cultural stigma. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for racial and ethnic minority groups to access mental health and substance use treatment services and further revealed inequalities in health care for communities of color.
211 Virginia provides easy, free, and confidential connections to mental health services and support. We're here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may have been able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988 before, this dialing code became available across the United States on July 16, 2022.
Veterans looking to reach the Veterans Crisis Line can also call 988, and press 1 to be connected to a qualified crisis counselor.
When to Contact 211, 911, and 988:
988 If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or a loved one, or would like emotional support, call or text 988 or chat at 988Lifeline.org. 988 connects you with a trained crisis counselor who can help.
211 If you or someone you know needs help finding local resources, call 211 or text 247-211, or chat at 211virginia.org.
911 If it’s an emergency or danger of self-harm seems imminent. call 911.
Pride Month is observed each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.
211’s across the nation answer hotlines like the Trevor Project, the SAGE hotline, and local LGBTQ+ helplines. Help the LGBTQ+ community know where they can turn for connections to all types of resources and supports. If you are an LGBTQ organization and would like to update your listing or be included in our 211 Virginia database, click here: update/add your agency, or contact us.
211 Virginia experienced a record-setting contact volume in May 2022! Contact volume for May was the highest since the inception of our current Automatic Contact Distribution system on July 1, 2010 (the system responsible for routing calls to our Community Resource Specialists). Demand for services is likely the highest since the financial crash in the fall of 2008.
The May 2022 queued contacts are nearly double that of May 2021. The unmet needs have been increasing since February due to temporary relief programs ending, unavailability of funds, eligibility criteria not being met, and the demand outpacing the services. Our team constantly monitors agencies and programs reporting expended funds and shortages while adding new agencies and programs to our database.
April brought the close of the federal tax season. Community Resource Specialist (CRS) assisted 448 individuals with 767 referrals to tax preparation sites. Additionally, the Contact Center programmed a self-service option, agentless assist, to allow inquirers access to the IRS Free Tax Preparation website without waiting for a CRS. 314 inquirers chose the agentless option.