If you or someone you know is considering suicide, help is available.  Several resources are in the attached article or call 988

The national suicide hotline 988 number went live on July 16, 2022.  One month later, are cracks in the system already showing up?

The easy-to-remember number was hailed by mental health providers, lawmakers, and people across the country.  In the first month, however, other opinions on the service have started to arise.  Some are taking to socila media to voice their concerns and some are even warning people not to use it.

Aneri Pattani of NC Health News did an in depth look at what is happening.  She reports that one Instagram post saying “988 is not friendly. Don’t call it, don’t post it, don’t share it” has more than a quarter million likes.  Other posts on Twitter and Instagram echo that message with some saying the hotline sends law enforcement to check on people at risk without their consent and people from the LGBTQ+ community and communities of color may be forced into treatment.

One of the authors of a post critical of 988 says having law enforcement arrive often leads to a trip to an emergency room or psychiatric hospital.  That further traumatizes the person in need.  Officials from 988 say they understand that risk and counselors are trained to work with the caller in a variety of methods.  Most calls are de-escalated without law enforcement.  If a caller cannot or will not collaborate on a safety plan and the counselor feels that caller will harm themselves imminently is when emergency services are called.

Pattani’s article has more cases on both sides of the issue as well as additional resources.  Please take time to read the full article by clicking here.