Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Dial 988: New mental health crisis hotline launches Saturday


Shari L. Gross, Star Tribune

Crisis therapists Michael Raguet and Lori Wegner at the Mental Health Crisis Program offices inside the Carver County Government Center in Chaska on Tuesday.

Starting Saturday, Minnesotans and others struggling with thoughts of suicide or other mental health crises will be able to get immediate help by calling or texting a three-digit number, 988.

The nationwide shift to 988, years in the making, is considered one of the most significant steps to respond to people in mental health distress in decades. The hope is that 988 will become as easy to remember in times of emergency as 911, help ease the stigma of seeking mental health help, limit armed law enforcement interventions in mental health emergencies - and save more lives.

As with the existing suicide hotline, operators will be trained in how to counsel callers and be ready to dispatch mobile crisis teams and others specially trained in mental health. The new code will replace the 11-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifelineat 1-800-273-8255 - though that number will continue to function and direct people to resources.


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