These 3 Numbers Could Save a Life
Last Updated: 07 Oct 2020
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The new 9-8-8 suicide prevention emergency number will change in our mental health care system and save lives.
As of July 16, 2022, a new 3-digit emergency number will be officially rolled out across the United States. 9-8-8 is now the new emergency number for suicide crisis intervention, replacing the previous and lengthy phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
The number is being shortened, but the network of call centers has been expanded and fortified by the new system. The purpose of the new number? To make immediate and appropriate mental health support more available to people in crisis.
The office of Senator Jack Reed, who co-authored Senate Bill 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, says, “The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support, prevention, and crisis resources.” When someone calls the National Suicide Hotline, they will be automatically routed to a local crisis center. The hotline connects to over 160 crisis centers, each staffed by accredited and trained suicide prevention and mental health specialists.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020 alone, it claimed over 45,900 lives.
Veterans and minorities are especially at-risk. According to the Federal Communications Commission an average of 20 Veterans die by suicide every day.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The new 9-8-8 number will connect people in crisis with other options, and life-saving resources to reach a better solution to their problems.
In a 2021 article with AARP, the FCC Chairman shared that, “in a review of 550 suicidal individuals who reached out to the [National Suicide] hotline, 95 percent of them reported that the call stopped them from killing themselves.”
That’s over 522 lives saved because someone in need knew who to call for help.
In May of 2020, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, to help Americans in need by establishin a 3-digit, easy-to-access emergency number as a nation-wide hotline for suicide prevention and mental health crises.
That number is 9-8-8.
The new number will make immediate and appropriate mental health support more available to people in crisis. The office of Senator Jack Reed, who co-authored the bill, says, “The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support, prevention, and crisis resources.” When someone calls the National Suicide Hotline, they will be automatically routed to a local crisis center. The hotline connects to over 160 crisis centers, each staffed by accredited and trained suicide prevention and mental health specialists.
These three numbers will save lives.
To help those close to you who may be struggling with mental health and/or suicidal thoughts or behaviors, take a moment to reach out, share mental health resources, or familiarize yourself with these “11 Warning Signs Of Suicide” from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
- Talking about wanting to do or kill themselves.
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Increase the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Having extreme mood swings.
For post-9/11 Veterans and their families, Endeavors offers high-quality, discreet mental health services through our Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics in San Antonio, Killeen, and El Paso. During the pandemic, our professionals are continuing to serve clients remotely through Telehealth and a variety of virtual support groups on topics such as PTSD, Couples Therapy, Youth Mental Health, and more. Visit our website to learn more about how Endeavors can help you or a loved one living with mental health issues.
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit endeavors.org.
About The Cohen Veterans Network
Cohen Veterans Network is a 501(c)(3) national not for profit philanthropic network of mental health clinics for post-9/11 veterans and their families. CVN focuses on improving mental health outcomes, with a goal to build a network of outpatient mental health clinics for veterans and their families in high-need communities, in which trained clinicians deliver holistic evidence-based care to treat mental health conditions. The network currently has 16 clinics in operation serving veterans and their families across the country. Learn more about Cohen Veterans Network.