By next July, you can call 988 in a mental health crisis

By next July, you can call 988 in a mental health crisis
Posted on Oct 19 2020
The Hill: Changing America

President Trump signed the Suicide Designation Act of 2020 into law on Saturday, designating 988 as the dial code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Founded in 2004, the network of 161 crisis centers is backed by the federal government and provides a toll-free number for anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The law also allows states to enact fees to offer these expanded services, in the same way they currently do for 911. “The need for 9-8-8 is urgent. Without appropriate care, people with mental illness end up on our streets, in jails and in emergency departments — and dying in tragic encounters with law enforcement,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., NAMI CEO, in a statement. “By signing this bill into law, we are making real progress toward ensuring people in crisis get help, not handcuffs. We are grateful to Congress and the FCC for their efforts in moving this legislation forward and making 9-8-8 a reality.” The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the health care system and made it difficult for many Americans to access vital mental health services.