The new 9-8-8 suicide and crisis hotline is set to launch on Saturday


The Missouri Behavioral Health Council is hosting its 9-8-8 kickoff event in the state capitol at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The 9-8-8 number will replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK starting Saturday. It will become the national three-digit number for all mental health, suicide and addiction crises.

When someone calls, chats or texts 9-8-8, that person will be connected to a crisis specialist who is trained and able to provide assistance to anyone in the midst of the crisis by addressing concerns. and the needs of the person.

The trained specialist will provide assistance through intervention including assessment, stabilization, referral and follow-up for those in poor mental health and/or suicidal. If a person requires a higher level of care, the specialist will work with the caller and others to connect them to a mobile crisis team.

According to American Foundation for Suicide Preventionsuicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States In 2020, 45,979 Americans died by suicide and that same year there were more than one million suicide attempts.

Those who need help in a crisis or know someone who needs help should call 9-8-8 starting July 16, but until then access to help may be found at 1-800-272-8255

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