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August 03, 2022

New 988 Mental Health Hotline

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988 Hotline

Expanded Services Beyond Suicide Help

A new 988 hotline launched in July aimed at helping those experiencing a mental health crisis. This hotline will help connect those who need to speak to a mental health professional in a comparable way that 911 connects people to emergency services. Historically, when someone has a mental health crisis, it could be difficult to get an immediate appointment.

This number will take over the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can still be reached at 800-273-28255, but the new number of 988 will offer an expanded mission. In addition to offering support and services for people at risk of suicide, the new hotline can provide help for those facing any type of mental health crisis.

This shorter number is easier to remember and will be available to anyone by calling or texting twenty-four hours a day. When contacting the number, callers who are struggling will speak to a trained counselor who can provide further personal support and resources. There are over two hundred local centers with trained crisis counselors, but if the local center is unavailable, the caller will be transferred to a national backup crisis center automatically.

This new crisis line will provide help and resources for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who also suffer from mental health disorders. People with I/DD often suffer more because they do not know where to turn for help, which may result in unnecessary calls to the police. However, the new 988 number will provide them with trained individuals who know how to respond to I/DD individuals who have dual diagnoses.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to report suicidal ideas, suicidal planning without attempt, and suicidal attempts compared to people without disabilities.

The new hotline is a great resource for anyone that is experiencing any type of mental crisis, at any time by texting or calling. If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health challenges, please reach out to a trained and educated counselor to help provide you with the resources you need.

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