It was probably one of the first numbers you learned to dial, if not the first: 911. Because it’s just three digits, even kids can easily commit it to memory so they know how to get help when they need it. You’re never going to see a fire burning at your neighbor’s and think, “Shoot, I need to look up that emergency number.”
Now, we’ve got the same easy access for mental health emergencies. And it’s about darn time. As of this weekend, all you need to do is dial 988.
988 is now live
On July 16, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made 988 the number for the national mental health crisis hotline. This finally brings to life something two years in the making.
The hotline (a.k.a. the lifeline) is run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They’ve always run the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, but the goal behind 988 is to do two things: expand that resource and make it easier to access.
This is big. Even before 988, the lifeline had fielded more than 20 million calls. They measure the impact of the line and report that for every one person who dies by suicide, 316 consider it — but get the help they need to make a different decision.
This new crisis resource is designed to be there whenever someone needs serious help. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to dial it up. Or if it’s a friend — or a stranger on the street — the trained answerers at 988 will be ready to help.
Want to get involved?
It’s super exciting news that the nation is finally making mental health care easier to get. But because mental health care is such a heavy and prevalent issue, they’re expecting to get a lot of calls. Potentially more than they can handle, in fact.
Because of that, SAMHSA is actively hiring volunteers, employees, and interns for their call centers. If you have a heart for mental healthcare, check out their hiring page to see if a post as a lifeline answerer could be a fit for you.
Over here at Doughp, we want to do our part, too. That’s why we have our #Doughp4Hope initiative. It’s also why anytime you buy Doughp, we give hope by automatically making a donation to the SHE RECOVERS Foundation.