Have you heard about 988 ? This national service began recently on Saturday, July 16th 2022 !

In the wake of so many unsettling events, the need for increased mental health services has never been greater. To this end, access to the national mental health hot-line has been simplified to a new 988 number,

Previously, while there was a national phone number for emergencies, it was long and difficult to remember: 1-800-273-8255. This new shorter number is a huge improvement and will make it much easier for those in trouble to contact mental health services when needed. 

The purpose of 988 is to provide an easy number to remember for those who are experiencing emotional distress. Think of it as an emotional ER without the long waits. So, no matter where you are, help is always available 24/7.  

What Happens Calling the number connects the person with a mental health professional  who will listen and assess if further help is needed. If it is needed, a referral will be given to another health-care specialist who is located near the caller. Most times, however, just talking to an understanding person can be all that is needed.     Redefining Mental Health as the Struggle to be Reasonable | Pastoral Counseling Syracuse NY (revmichaelheath.com)

Also, you don’t have to be in crisis to call.  But, be patient.  The system overhaul requires some time to get up to speed. Nonetheless, this is a meaningful step forward to improve the level of mental health care in America.    Are We Ready for 988, Mental Health’s New Emergency Hotline? | Everyday Health      

Rev. Michael Heath, LMHC, Fellow AAPC          7 16 2022


Image acknowledgment and attribution: Everyday Health.com