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In an effort to protect the capabilities of Colorado’s 911 emergency number from being overloaded during the coronavirus pandemic, Colorado has set up 211 Colorado, a confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state.

Its purpose is to handle calls that, while important, may not be real emergencies (such that calls related to COVID-19 emergencies are likely to be). Other states have already experienced record-high volume of calls to 911, overloading circuits, while possibly delaying response to true emergencies.

The free 211 resource includes a live chat. If access to the internet is not available, Colorado residents can access the 211 resource via other means: dial either 2-1-1 or 866-760-6489, or text 898-211.

The state also wants Colorado residents to know that the Colorado Crisis Services Center remain open for those experiencing other life and health emergencies. It provide free, confidential, professional and immediate support 24/7/365 for any mental health, substance use, or emotional concerns.

Those needing assistance can call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.