Anyone needing mental health support can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 starting on June 16th. The existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255, will still be available. Still, experts claim the new three-digit code will be simpler to remember in case of a mental health emergency.
The new dialing code makes Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, more convenient to remember in an emergency but does not replace it. According to experts, the condensed version might help make the mental health resource more approachable to people in need.
However, if you are not comfortable you can visit 988lifeline.org to chat with a qualified counselor if they need support. What you need to know about the new hotline is provided below.
How do the 988 hotlines work?
Thanks to the new three-digit code, people needing trained counselors’ assistance for mental health issues now have a direct line to do so. Since the hotline is operated around-the-clock, anyone can call for help.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was projected by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2005 and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. According to the Lifeline website, it has taken more than 20 million calls since then.
According to Margie Wright, executive director of the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas, the new dialing code 988 connects callers to the same service. Still, it is simpler to remember than the original phone number.
Why do we require a new number?
When individuals struggle with mental health, it may be difficult to remember an 800-number.
“Having people try to remember a long number is better than the shorter three-digit code,” she said. “I think it will make things simpler once [the new number] got out there and advertised,” the speaker said.
The 211 social service hotline and the new 988 code are easily recognizable. According to Blanca Garcia, director of mental health resources at the Grant Halliburton Foundation in Dallas, it will be much more comfortable for people to remember the hotline dialing code during emergencies, thanks to this association.
Is The new hotline open to everyone?
The number can be called or texted by anyone in the United States who needs mental health support. To contact the lifeline, they are not required to be in imminent danger of suicide. The existing 1-800 number will work in the same way.
According to Mental Health Texas, 3,309,000 adults in Texas have a mental illness. And in the previous year, 754,000 adult Texans reported having suicidal thoughts. According to Mental Health Texas, 61 percent of Texans who needed mental health support did not get any despite the state’s high rates of mental illness.
The new hotline and the 1-800 number can be accessed for free.
Is the previous hotline still active?
Yes, even after the new three-digit code is introduced, the existing Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-8255, will still be functional.
What happens when if I call the hotline?
According to the Lifeline website, when people call, text, or chat with the hotline service, they will be connected to qualified counselors who are a part of the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. According to Garcia, about 200 regional crisis centers make up the network, and callers are typically connected to the nearest center.
The counselors at the 24-hour service will listen to callers, offer support, and connect them to additional mental health resources if necessary.
An exciting opportunity to rethink how crisis services are provided in Oregon and the United States has arisen with the launch of 988. The whole vision of a revamped crisis care system, with 988 at its core, won’t be realized overnight, though. Transformation of this scope to be effective, appropriate, and sustainable will take time and ongoing collaboration, commitment, and support from the public and private sectors.
Now that you know about the new suicide hotline number let’s take you to know more about the basics of mental health first aid, to know more, click here.
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