One year after the launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, more than 63,000 calls were made in Arizona alone, exemplifying the need for mental health services in communities across the state.
As Arizona’s primary 988 provider, Tempe-based Solari Crisis & Human Services continues its outreach across the state with particular emphasis on vulnerable communities such as the indigenous, black, veteran and LGBTQ+ populations, a press release explained.
Solari attributes the consistent growth in 988 call volume to increased public exposure to the line and its new three-digit number, but also to a decrease in stigma in using mental health resources.
“While we know there is still much work to do in the mental health space, we see the increase in calls to 988 as a sign of progress and hope. Each call is one individual who, hopefully, we can support and provide the resources they need to feel safe,” said Solari President/CEO Justin Chase in the release.
“Talking about mental health can be difficult, but we want the community to know that as we enter year two, we remain as committed as ever to providing a safe and supportive space for Arizonans to seek help and find hope through 988."
During the lifeline’s first year, Solari reports that the primary reasons for 988 calls have been thoughts of suicide or self-harm, anxiety and social concerns, the release stated.
The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline allows people to dial, text or chat 988 to receive mental health help just as they would dial 911 for physical emergencies.
The helpline is free, confidential, and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with professionally trained crisis intervention specialists in Arizona. Assistance is available around the clock in English and Spanish and is accessible in multiple additional languages via real-time interpreter services.
What to expect: When someone calls, texts or chats 988, crisis specialists ask for the caller’s name and date of birth, but callers may remain anonymous if they choose. The specialist will then assess the safety of the caller and others around them and ask what support is needed. All information provided is private and confidential.
Call, text or chat 988 to connect with a trained crisis specialist who will listen and assist with your mental health needs or those of a loved one.