Who do you call for a mental health emergency?
Health involves physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. It’s important to ask when help is needed and many times there is a timely element. If you are having a medical emergency, you know to call 911, but there has always been a pause when it comes to a mental health crisis. Who do you call when that medical emergency involves your mental health?
There is a new three-digit phone number to call that Kansas residents can use: 9-8-8.
What is the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline?
A U.S. government agency that oversees communications (FCC) designated the phone number 9-8-8 as a nationwide phone number for those who are considering suicide or facing mental health issues and to get them the health they need. You can call or text that hotline, or chat online at 988lifeline.org.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, lets you talk to trained crisis counselors. These counselors can get help for those suffering from substance abuse, emotional distress, or suicidal thoughts.
Should I call 988?
We need to normalize the idea that all health is important and when an emergency happens, you should feel confident in asking for help. In August 2022, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline answered 318,048 communications (calls, texts, and online chats) dealing with mental health.*
If you are suffering from thoughts of harming yourself, substance abuse or emotional distress, you are not alone. What you are feeling is treatable and more common than you think.
We had a chance to consult with COMCARE of Sedgwick County, an organization in the county charged with helping residents with their mental health, and they want to reaffirm this concept: Recovery is not only possible, it is probable.