988 mental health hotline now available to anyone in crisis
CBS LA / July 18, 2022
A new suicide prevention hotline went live on Saturday, providing a place to call for anyone dealing with a mental health crisis.
The number to the suicide crisis hotline is 9-8-8.
The new three-digit number is easy to remember and instantly connects callers with operators who can help with crisis counseling and other important services.
The hotline is billed as an alternative to calling 911 for people experiencing mental health emergencies.
Trained Los Angeles County mental health counselors answered urgent calls on the first day of the launch.
“The hope is that ultimately one day 988 is as ubiquitous as 911 so that people know in a mental health crisis if somebody needs to speak with somebody, they can call that number from anywhere in the country and reach someone 24 hours a day,” Shari Sinwelski, Vice President of crisis care for Didi Hirsch mental health services.
Didi Hirsch mental health services already runs a suicide prevention center and teamed up with the LA County Department of Mental Health to serve as 988’s local provider.
The service offers more than just phone counseling depending on the caller’s need.
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