An unbiased critique of the new 988 hotline (please read!)

Image Text: Starting July 16th, 988 will be a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the U.S., you can easily access 24/7 emotional support.  In the meantime, please continue to share 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected with a trained, caring counselor.

Below is an unbiased critique of the new 988 hotline, which we encourage all who are considering calling the 988 number to read before using. The new 988 number does far more good than harm. However, this does not change the fact that the mental health institutions in our country are severely flawed. 

Please note that fewer than 2% of calls to the 988 line require connections to emergency services like 9-1-1. This is still a number that is less than zero.

Taken from the article itself:

“But 9-8-8 is now a much better option than simply calling 9-1-1 for a mental health crisis, according to JaNaè Taylor, PhD, psychotherapist and founder of Minding My Black Business. This is because people trained in mental health crisis response should be responding to the calls, versus a garden variety 9-1-1 operator. The folks on the other end of your 9-8-8 call are ostensibly less likely to call police or EMS, she says, and in some states and cities (but not all), they’ll have the resources to send a “mobile crisis response team” trained in mental health instead. And that could save lives (if it operates as designed) because people ideally will get better care in response to their crises with less interaction with cops — imperative, because one in four fatal police shootings between 2015 to 2020 involved a person with a mental illness (and the folks who survive are more likely to face jail time). But, again, the fact that police may be called at all after dialing 9-8-8 is concerning to many.”

Read the rest of the article below: