Text hotline gets English plea for help, replies in Mandarin

Features Associated Press

A texting hotline for New York City residents with mental health problems has gotten off to a rough start, with some people who asked for help in English getting responses in Mandarin.

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Under the NYC Well program, people in crisis can text "Help" to a hotline number to be connected with counselors.

But the Daily News says (http://nydn.us/2eWzZ1I) one of its reporters who texted "Help" to test the hotline got an answer back in Mandarin.

The newspaper says after several attempts the reporter got instructions to text 1 for English but when the reporter did that the service didn't respond. Instead, the service sent the same message to text 1 for English.

A spokesman for the city Department of Health says the problem was resolved early Friday.