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988 National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Launched July 16

The 988 National Suicide and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline launched nationally and in Ohio on July 16, 2022. From that day forward, Ohioans can call 988 for any behavioral health crisis. While national and statewide 988 public awareness campaigns will not begin until 2023, it is important for community members to understand the difference between a mental health and addiction emergency and mental health and addiction crisis. Examples of mental health and addiction emergencies are active suicide threats, threatening harm to self or others, self-injury that needs medical attention, and a drug overdose. For these scenarios, individuals should call 911. Examples of mental health and addiction crisis are talking about suicide or planning to harm themselves, talking about harm to others, self-injury that doesn’t need immediate medical attention, overuse of alcohol or other drugs, extreme depression, anxiety, or other mental illness symptoms.

Ohioans who are experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis and their family members will be able to call, chat, or text 988 in order to reach a trained counselor who can offer help and support. Pathways of Central Ohio was the chosen call center to handle the 988 calls from our Board district (Licking and Knox Counties).

The MHR Board is encouraged by this new easy to remember number for mental health crisis. It is a convenient way to help ensure that individuals are not falling through the cracks and are being linked to services in the local community. Landlines cannot currently use the 988 number but can reach the local crisis hotline by dialing 211.

Remember – there is hope and help. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or addiction-related crisis that is non-life-threatening, call, chat, or text 988 for free. If you or someone you know is in immediate, life-threatening danger, call 911.

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