Amy Hedman-Robertson, PhD, recently published an op-ed in MinnPost about the importance of local funding for infrastructure to support the new 988 mental health crisis hotline. Hedman-Robertson is a professor of health and exercise science at the Morrison Family College of Health.
From the story: Building and maintaining a well-trained workforce to meet expected 988 call demands will be a daunting challenge for many states. To date, only four states have passed legislation to fund the 988 crisis phone service in their state.
Now that 988 has launched, there is much work to do. While leaders in behavioral health work alongside important community partners to enhance mental health systems and resources that support 988, community members can play a role in making 988 a success. Here’s what you can do:
- Follow and support 988-related legislation. Right now in Minnesota, bills are under discussion to implement a $.12/month fee on telephone services to fund 988 (HF 4398, SF 4014) and to create a Department of Behavioral Health as well as expand adult mobile crisis services (HF 4706, SF 4410). Contact your local Minnesota legislators and express your support for these bills.
- Get involved in mental health promotion within your community by joining or creating a mental health task force, volunteering at a mental health organization, or becoming qualified to volunteer or work for your local crisis call center.
- Consider ways you can promote and normalize mental health help-seeking and self-care, as well as 988 services through your daily conversations and interactions with others. A great place to get inspired is reimaginecrisis.org.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.