Ephrata Public Library’s ‘Talk Tank’ provides a free and easy mental health service to anyone


EPHRATA, Pa. (WHTM) — There may be shelves of books everywhere, from encyclopedias to self-help books, but the Ephrata Public Library is much more than that these days. It’s now home to the Talk Tank.

“It looks like an old phone booth, its sound proof, it’s lit, and it’s air circulated,” Kelly Ernst Warner, Coordinator for Northern Lancaster Hub said. 

It also better connects people to help they might not otherwise get.

“This is about I don’t know who to turn to for this. I’m feeling very anxious about this thing in my life. I don’t want to ask my boss for help. I don’t want to ask want to ask my parent for help,” Warner said.

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It’s as simple as stepping in, pressing a button and getting connected, and totally anonymous. Once people step in, they’re connected to a WellSpan team member, who can offer counseling support and then link them with additional services.

Kelly Ernst Warner says making this innovation accessible to everyone was a priority. 

“People don’t think that little kids don’t have big problems. Sometimes people don’t think that seniors have real problems after they retire,” Warner added.

With COVID-19 putting mental health front and center, and telehealth services taking off, this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

“To reach out to a whole community like this. this will change how people see mental health,” she said. 

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