LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A big step forward that could help save some lives with a quick dial of your phone. The national mental health hotline has gone live starting Saturday.
Just three simple numbers: 988. Providing a world of help for so many people.
“It will provide individuals that are experiencing a mental health crisis or substance abuse related crisis with the proper support.”
In 2017, the rapper Logic released a song called "1-800-273-8255", the hotline number before 988. A study published in the British Medical Journal found awareness of the song led to increased calls with researchers saying there was evidence more than 200 lives were saved. Dr. Sheldon Jacobs, a mental health professional hopes the 988 number will become as universal as dialing 911.
“I think that in itself will make more people willing to call and access the support through that number.”
Support Dr. Jacobs wants to see with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline now live nationwide. The hotline directs people to trained professionals who can offer advice and dispatch help if there’s a need. Dr. Jacobs says victims at times haven’t gotten the appropriate assistance they needed calling 911.
“Sometimes they may wait in the emergency room for more than 24 hours to wait for a bed in a psychiatric hospital, so we’ve seen that trend and it only traumatizes a lot of folks.”
If you are anyone you know is suffering from a mental health crisis or is thinking about hurting themselves you’re urged to call that 988 number.