24-hour hotline helping thousands of Nevadans

Posted at 10:13 AM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 16:40:26-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For two months now businesses and schools have been shut down. Thousands in the valley are without jobs. Plus, there's social distancing, face masks and being stuck at home. It's overwhelming. That's why 13 Action News Anchor Tricia Kean is introducing a free resource, here to help us all.


"A lot of people are unemployed. They're worried about feeding their families and paying their rent," said Rachelle Pellisier, executive director for the Crisis Support Services of Nevada.

Nevadans are feeling stressed. The problem is, a lot of people are afraid to show it and don't know where to go for help.

That's where CSSNV comes in.


"What we do is listen, help them deescalate and then help the caller or texter make a plan," said Pellisier.

The 24-hour crisis hotline helped 83,000 people last year.

The free service is still taking calls for topics like suicidal thoughts, domestic abuse, plus drug and alcohol use. But recently, 20% of their calls have centered around the pandemic.

"Most of it is job loss, financial. Just about the stress of being cooped up in the house," said Gene Debrzynski, assistant call center director.


Debrzynski takes a lot of the calls and text messages.

He says even though COVID-19 is affecting us all, many Nevadans are feeling like their in this alone, leading to high levels of anxiety and depression.

"It's not something affecting just one family, one economic group, one industry. It's everyone in this together," Debrzynski said. "We talk to them about how we're gonna get over this... Anytime you want to talk to us we're here. We're not going to judge you."

And that's the biggest problem. Too many people are ashamed by their own feelings.

"They take it as a negative about themselves. How ridiculous that I'm in crisis. No one else is in crisis like this," said Pellisier.


But it's important to remember those feelings are completely normal.

"There are days when you are not at your height mentally. That doesn't make you crazy," said Pellisier. "That makes you a normal human being. You're anxious or depressed. We all go through traumas. It doesn't matter who you are."

Crisis Support Services of Nevada is ready to listen or provide you with any necessary resources.

For help, call 1-800-273-8255. The hotline has a translation service and can provide help in any language. You can also text "CARE" to 839863.