211, located in Lantana, FL, provides telephone counseling, crisis intervention, suicide prevention and comprehensive information, assessment and referral services, 24 hours a day 7 days per week to individuals in need of such support. It is the goal of 211 to help individuals who call the three-digit, toll free number to find a way to successfully solve their own problems. To reach this goal a variety of activities may occur including crisis intervention, active listening, telephone counseling, and assessment along with the provision of information, referral and client advocacy.
In addition to the actual activities of answering the telephone, listening and responding appropriately to the caller’s needs and issues, there are three basic tangential activities, as follows: 1) Training: Critical to the functioning of 211 is the training of all paid and volunteer staff provided by 211 staff. Prior to actually answering calls, staff must successfully complete the 100+ hour training/orientation course. Further, there is ongoing, on-the-job training and in-service training activities. 2) Database Support: A second critical activity is the development and maintenance of a comprehensive up-to-date database containing information on available resources. 3) Community Awareness: The third critical activity is ongoing, consistent community awareness efforts to alert the community, including professionals, of the availability of this service. To that end, 211 has a Community Relations Specialist located at the United Way office in Indian River County who is responsible for the function of community awareness.