Get some encouragement NOW

HARRISBURG, PA  – Having a rough day? Or maybe one of the older grands is on the struggle bus. Grab a phone!

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) recently debuted the You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania—an automated phone number that individuals of all ages can call to hear pep talks, jokes, and words of encouragement from Pennsylvania students.

“You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania was developed to spread cheer, promote resiliency, and encourage self-care,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “Users of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life—both in the Commonwealth and beyond—are encouraged to call the line anytime they need a pep talk.”

Callers can access the line at 717-772-4737 and can select from menu options to hear advice, encouragement, and jokes from early elementary through high school students. 

The fully automated phone line features pre-recorded messages from students in grades K-12 across Pennsylvania. The name, school, and location of the child featured on the recording is not shared with callers and all submissions are captured and added by Commonwealth employees.  

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends the following strategies to support mental health: paying attention to your feelings; developing a plan for when you are feeling stressed, sad, or lonely; practicing self-care; connecting with community; supporting others; recognizing seasonal mood changes; avoiding alcohol and drugs; and knowing when to seek help.

If you need immediate support, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website.

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