A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Mental health support is a phone call away at 988

Minnesotans facing mental health crises can now dial or text 988 to connect to Lifeline support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The new 988 code will serve as a universal entry point, so callers can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help regardless of where they live. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. People should call 911 if they suspect a drug overdose or need immediate medical help

The change is part of a nationwide effort to transition the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to a phone number people can more easily remember. The Lifeline 10-digit number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), will still be available and will route people to the same resources. Interpretation services are available through calling the number.

Moving to a shorter dialing code is an important step to help reduce suicide, and it is part of a larger push to improve options for Americans facing mental health crises. In moments of crisis, it can be challenging to look for resources or even just remember what number to call. The shift also includes an online chat feature.

To reach the Veterans Crisis Line, dial 988 and press 1. Calls will route to the same trained Veterans Crisis Line responders. The Veterans Crisis Line will still be available by chat (VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat) and text (838255).

Suicide is a serious and growing public health concern across the United States and in Minnesota. The number of suicide deaths and the suicide rate in Minnesota has increased consistently for 20 years.

From 2016 through 2020, there were more than 10,000 hospital visits for self-harm injuries (i.e., suicide attempts) in Minnesota, and those were mostly among people ages 10-24, predominantly females.

Rendered 06/20/2024 05:10