The New Mental Health Crisis Hotline Could Save Lives—and Cost Them

The New Mental Health Crisis Hotline Could Save Lives—and Cost Them
Posted on Mar 23 2022
SLATE: State of Mind

Even though Congress created 988, Congress didn’t fund it. Right now, when people experiencing a mental health crisis call 911, most of the time they end up in a hospital or in jail. “More than 2 million people each year with a mental illness are booked into our nation’s jails and prisons. It’s a huge number,” says Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO. Advocates like her see 988 as a chance to significantly shrink that number. “We have funded mental health this way for decades. It is pennies here, pennies there. It is out of the goodness of people’s hearts that organizations are there to support people experiencing mental health conditions. I’m hoping policymakers make the investments that we know we need to make,” said Wesolowski.