The 9-8-8 Crisis Hotline is Coming. Will States Answer the Call?

The 9-8-8 Crisis Hotline is Coming. Will States Answer the Call?
Posted on Sep 29 2021
MindSiteNews.org

Advocates see a chance to transform mental health crisis services. But with deadlines looming, so is a fight with the telecom industry. The people on the Crisis Jam call, a collection of crisis workers, mental health advocates and local officials, see the changeover as an historic opportunity to dramatically remake the nation’s system for responding to mental health emergencies from one handled primarily by law enforcement to using trained crisis counselors and responders. Advocates are asking states to take advantage of the user-fee provision in the federal law and levy charges on telephone consumers of less than $1 a month. The same kind of monthly fee brought in $3 billion in 2019 to support 911 services. “These fees could then be combined with other state and federal funds, as well as reimbursements from Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurers”, says Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI’s director of field advocacy.