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  • Client Info
  • Donate
  • Get Help Now
    • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

      If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text:

      9-8-8
      (24/7, free & confidential)

      Or chat with a crisis counselor:
      Chat Now

      Peer-to-peer support for teens
      (Teen Line)
      800-852-8336
      6pm-10pm PST

    • Get Services

      For mental health or substance use services, call intake:

      LA County:
      888-807-7250

      Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm

    • Crisis Counseling

      If you or someone you know has experienced thoughts of suicide, made a suicide attempt, or lost someone to suicide, we provide healing during and through your crisis.

      Get Help Today

On the One-Year Anniversary of 988

 

For Information:
DHMedia@causecomm.org 

(323) 419-3141 

ON THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE 988 SUICIDE AND CRISIS LIFELINE, DATA REVEALS THAT CALIFORNIA CENTERS ANSWERED 280,637 CALLS, CHATS AND TEXTS,
MORE THAN ANY OTHER STATE IN THE U.S.

98 PERCENT OF THESE CONTACTS WERE RESOLVED
WITHOUT FURTHER INTERVENTION,
BOOSTING SUICIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS

CLICK HERE FOR VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE RECORDING AND ASSETS

CULVER CITY, Calif. – July 11, 2023 – Today Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, the lead crisis center agency for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in California and home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center, unveiled statewide data affirming the lifesaving impact of 988 in the state one year since the easy-to-remember three-digit dialing code was launched.

In the first 11 months since 988 was launched across the U.S. on July 16, 2022, the 12 California crisis centers responded to 280,637 contacts via calls, chats and texts (July 2022 to May 2023), more than any other state. Ninety-eight percent of the time California’s highly trained counselors were able to support the individual in crisis, de-escalating the call and resolving without further intervention.

California crisis centers maintained a strong in-state response rate for 988 calls while fielding an increase in volume. Comparing May 2022 (pre-launch) to May 2023, in-state answer rates for calls increased from 86 to 91 percent while call volume increased 28 percent.

“One year since 988 launched across the country, the data for California is clear – the simple 988 number is helping to save lives,” said Lyn Morris, LMFT and CEO of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. “The transition to 988 as an easy-to-remember number for calls, texts and chats supports suicide prevention and helps individuals in crisis connect with critical lifesaving resources. 988 is providing individuals in crisis with a literal lifeline to connect quickly 24/7 with a compassionate counselor.”

Karla Zenteno, a Bilingual Spanish Program Coordinator and 988 Crisis Counselor for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, shared the story of a recent caller to 988, demonstrating the power of an easy-to-remember three-digit number in supporting suicide prevention.

“We recently received a call from a young woman suffering from mental health issues who was in great despair, feeling unsupported by family and friends, and who had prepared to die by suicide,” said Zenteno. “Thanks to national publicity for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number, she remembered the number and called 988 as her last resort.”

Zenteno continued, “This caller connected to one of our Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center crisis counselors who was able to establish rapport with her by offering nonjudgmental listening, empathy and validation of her painful circumstances.

“During the conversation, the caller removed herself from immediate danger and her agitation, distress and despair slowly de-escalated. Through the conversation with our 988 crisis counselor, this individual eventually agreed to admit herself to a hospital for care. A few days later, a follow-up contact from one of our crisis counselors confirmed that the caller was doing well and receiving services that supported her healing.”

Contacting 988 connects individuals directly with a highly trained compassionate counselor who will listen to the individual in crisis, assess their safety, work with them to develop a plan to feel better and connect them with supportive resources. Counselors also frequently schedule follow-up calls with individuals in crisis to ensure they are improving and able to access the resources and support they need.

California grew its number of trained crisis counselors to respond to 988 contacts, anticipating increased volume from the launch of 988. California now has 1,116 crisis counselors through its 12 crisis centers across the state that respond to 988 calls, texts and chats.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that suicide continues to be a significant public health crisis across the country. According to the CDC, suicide rates increased approximately 36% between 2000 and 2021. In 2021, an estimated 12.3 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt and 1.7 million attempted suicide.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers around the country and is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The predecessor to 988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, was established in 2005.

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About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has been a national leader in whole-person mental health, crisis care and substance use services for more than 80 years and is home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center. With deep roots in community-based mental health, Didi Hirsch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing health equity, including where discrimination and injustice limit access. More than 1,000 staff and volunteers compassionately serve 189,000 children, adults and families annually in crisis, telehealth, outpatient, residential, community and school-based settings. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org.

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