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SCVNews.com | Effective July 16 Dial 988 for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Effective Saturday, July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will switch to 988, a simple three-digit code for anyone struggling with suicide, depression or other mental health issues.

By simply dialing 9-8-8, you will be connected to a trained counselor who provides support and resources. All calls are free and confidential.

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, as the lead agency for the development of the 988 seamless package, has been preparing for this launch for over a year to provide operational logistics and response teams to enable members of the Los Angeles County community to call 988 and receive immediate mental health help. in times of crisis.

“988 is a game changer,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who has championed the county’s preparations for the 988 hotline. “Starting this weekend, anyone who is experiencing a mental health crisis or who has a loved one who is struggling can dial this short, easy-to-remember number and join in for help.”

“We are excited about the nationwide rollout of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which will make it easier for people experiencing or affected by mental health crises to get immediate life-saving help to support their safety and well-being. A key component of this new service is the availability of trained psychiatric mobile crisis response teams that can be reached through the 988 line when needed,” said Lisa Wong, Acting Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. “The department is also proud to continue our partnership with Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, which will serve as the 988 provider in Los Angeles County, to provide this important resource to our residents and communities, now available by simply calling or texting 988. “.

Starting this weekend, a new 988 call center operated by Didi Hirsch will be ready to take calls to the Los Angeles County 988 hotline. Trained operators will refer callers to appropriate services, including telephone suicide crisis counseling and telephone mental health de-escalation counseling. They will also screen callers to determine when it is appropriate to dispatch a mobile crisis team and, in rare cases, contact law enforcement when safety is a concern.

In preparation for the launch of 988, Los Angeles County has increased the number of teams of mental health professionals available to respond in person to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health now operates Mobile Psychiatric Response Teams, which consist of unarmed mental health workers who respond in person to people in crisis.

These teams operate from 8 am to 2 am. In the coming weeks, Los Angeles County will expand the number of teams available and launch new mobile crisis response teams to complement them by providing crisis response outside of response team hours, making services available 24/7. Both teams will connect through the 988 call center.

“In some cases, talking to a specialist on the phone will not be enough,” Han said. “That’s why it’s so important that we have teams of mental health professionals across the county who can get straight out to a person in crisis, de-escalate situations and connect people with long-term help. We need to expand these teams so that we can adequately respond to every mental health crisis in the county where they can be useful and get there quickly to be a viable alternative to 911.”

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SCVNews.com | Effective July 16 Dial 988 for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Source link SCVNews.com | Effective July 16 Dial 988 for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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