An astonishing 1 in 4 people has a mental health or substance use disorder (SUD) in the United States. As of November 2020, there have been over 90,000 drug overdose deaths, exceeding the toll from any other year since the opioid epidemic began in the 1990s. Moreover, emergency departments are overwhelmed by mental health and SUD-related visits, which is roughly 1 in 8 of all ED visits across the country.
With suicide as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the rate of suicide increasing by 35% between 1999 and 2018, there has been an increasing push for change. Resultingly, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was passed in 2020 which established 988 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in July, 2022.
The act requires the FCC to designate “988” as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. There are roughly 170 regional crisis centers across the US that will field calls via 988 and there will be additional associated services associated with these crisis centers and state governments are also able to impose and collect fees statewide to support the 988 initiative. Ultimately, creating a three-digit, nationwide number as the “911” for such crises will hopefully make it easier for individuals to get access to and receive the mental health help they need.
For more information on 988, visit www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.
Crisis Management Playbook
At Bamboo Health we are dedicated to helping expedite care for those experiencing a behavioral health crisis and implementing a 988 solution that is flexible and scalable based on the needs of your community.
Download our Crisis Management Playbook to learn how you can provide your community with an effective crisis management plan.