- Category: HCV Policy & Advocacy
- Published on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 00:00
- Written by Liz Highleyman
On February 1, The Support Partnership for Hepatitis C (TSP) launched a new project to connect people living with hepatitis C to resources and services in their communities.
TSP is a collaboration between 5 community non-profits:
- HealthPro (formerly Hep-C ALERT) -- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Hepatitis C Association -- Scotch Plains, NJ
- Hepatitis Education Project -- Seattle, WA
- Hep C Connection -- Denver, CO
- Project Inform -- San Francisco, CA
"One Call -- Lots of Help"
TSP aims to improve the well-being of people affected by viral hepatitis. Trained peer counselors will provide emotional support, health information, and relevant referrals, working with callers to set health-related goals related to all stages of living with hepatitis C -- from risk assessment and HCV testing through considering treatment and improving quality of life. Counselors will follow-up with callers to help them follow through with their decisions.
The new national helpline can be reached toll-free at 877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443), via email at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING , or on the web at www.help4hep.org. The phone helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 9 am to 7 pm EST (6 am to 4 pm PST).
TSP maintains an up-to-date national database of 25,000 referral resources. The project is creating interactive referral maps showing local resources and services including community health centers, liver disease specialists, and hepatitis C support groups. Maps are available now for partners' states and others are under development.
"People with hepatitis C just can’t seem to get the help they need...Sometimes, I’m the fourth or fifth person they have spoken to," TSP peer counselor Judi stated in a recent press release. "As a peer counselor, I can share common experiences and talk about different coping strategies and resources. When I was diagnosed I had many of the concerns and questions that they are having...I can really set their minds at ease with answers to their questions that contribute to a sense of well-being and hope."
The Support Partnership. New National Hepatitis C Helpline Promises "One Call -- Lots of Help." Press release. January 24, 2012.