Mental health experts say the 988 hotline makes a difference

988 hotline helps
988 hotline helps(valeria fugate)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 7:18 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Wyoming continues to have the highest rate of suicide in the nation but dropped almost 22 percent in 2022 from prior years.

The last suicide lifeline 10-digit number was upgraded when the 988-Suicide Prevention Hotline was launched last summer.

Folks can call, chat, or text this three-digit number, which gives folks quick and easy access to mental health resources and a listening ear in the middle of a crisis.

They also work with community partners such as Health Works, Crossroads, the Volunteers of America and Grace for Two Brothers, who help provide follow-up community resources.

In the last legislative session, lawmakers wanted to ensure the program was viable before they continued funding past the legislated 5-year sunset date. Still, experts say that would be a bad idea.

“We want to ensure that people, once this resource is here that it here to stay. As long as it’s being utilized, I would like to think that we’d be hopeful that it wouldn’t be sunset at all. I think that it’s just going to depend on the data and how many people are utilizing it over time,” said Dr. Angela Vaughn- CRMC Community Health Project Director.

Since the last crisis lifeline, the number of calls has increased by 66 percent since 2016, and they have received almost 10,000 calls since 2020.