June 28, 2022
In 2020, Congress worked with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to designate a new 988 dialing code as the suicide prevention and mental health crisis lifeline for the United States. The new code is scheduled to go into effect in July 2022. Moving to an easy-to-remember, three-digit dialing code will create opportunities to strengthen crisis response systems for everyone.
When people call, text or chat 988, they’ll be connected to trained counselors who are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. More than creating an easier way to reach out for help, dialing 988 provides a direct connection to quality, accessible care and support for anyone who is struggling with emotional distress or at risk of suicide. It can strengthen collaborative care, linking those in crisis to a wide range of community-based behavioral health services, from crisis response to early intervention and prevention services.
We recognize that access to mental health services is a critical community need and see the 988 launch as an opportunity to strengthen and expand a whole-person approach to health care. Accordingly, our corporate foundation has invested over $300,000 in non-profit organizations that are part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline system. The goal of those investments is to support, expand, diversify and train the behavioral health workforce in our region.
Along with our parent company, we’re also in the midst of a multi-year, $11.5 million community mental health initiative to increase access, improve quality of care and reduce stigma.
By supporting organizations that are making mental health resources available and reducing stigma around receiving care, we’re striving to expand whole-person health care and strengthen the communities we serve.