Pep Talk

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

“The holiday season can be a time when people struggle with their mental health, and sometimes we can all use a little pick-me-up,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania was developed to spread cheer, promote resiliency and encourage self-care. 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 select from menu options to hear pre-recorded advice, encouragement and jokes from students in grades K-12.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 64 percent of people with a mental illness say that their conditions worsen around the holidays, due to stress, loneliness, financial worries, shortened daylight hours, or increased substance use.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends strategies to support mental health around the holidays, including paying attention to your feelings; developing a plan for when you're 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.