Help for a mental health crisis is now just three digits away: 9-8-8.
Early data show that people are increasingly reaching out to a national mental health hotline launched July 16 as an easy-to-remember alternative to 911. But how does it work? And is it “friendly”?
Instead of being directed to police, callers (or texters) are connected to compassionate listeners trained to talk about crises ranging from suicidal thoughts to drug addiction. They can even advise people who aren’t in crisis but hope to help a struggling friend. It’s free and staffed around the clock.
“We want to make sure that we’re giving people effective evidence-based care in a crisis, rather than giving them care that results in them cycling through incarceration, hospitalization, emergency…
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