988 is Now Live! What Does That Mean for You?
Beginning Saturday, July 16, people across the country can call or text 988, the new three-digit number for mental health, substance use and suicidal crises, to connect directly to mental health support during a crisis. This new, shorter dialing code will help people more easily connect to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network — over 200 local crisis call centers — for support during a crisis. The availability of 988 is a great step to helping people in crisis and their families – but the work to improve our full crisis response system is only beginning. While the new number is now live, efforts to build the system’s local capacity in our state to help everyone in crisis will continue in the weeks, months and years to come.
Our policymakers must act to build and invest in local resources so that everyone in crisis has someone to talk to (local 24/7 crisis call centers), someone to respond (mobile crisis teams consisting of mental health professionals instead of law enforcement) and somewhere to go (short term crisis stabilization options instead of relying solely emergency departments).
The availability of 988 will help save lives, but there is more work to be done. It took two years of dedicated work leading up to this day. The availability of 988 is a great step to helping people in crisis and their families – but the work to improve our full crisis response system is only beginning.
Efforts to build the system’s local capacity in our State will continue in the weeks, months, and years to come, so that we can help everyone in crisis. Here in Northeast Florida, many behavioral health community providers have been hard at work collaborating to understand and build a behavioral response system that suits Northeast Florida's community using existing behavioral health resources. We are continuing to leverage the great work and services that our community partners are currently providing to provide appropriate responses to behavioral health crisis calls coming in to 988 in Northeast Florida.
How a 988 Crisis Response System Will Change Mental Health Crises
“Beginning July 16, 2022, 988 will be the new three-digit dialing code connecting people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress – whether that is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.” From SAMHSA 988 FAQsQuestions? Want to learn more? NAMI has more information available about what is and is not changing across the country with the launch of 988.
NAMI's Crisis Response System VisionNAMI is committed to advancing efforts to reimagine crisis response in our country. We believe that every person in crisis, and their families, should receive a humane response that treats them with dignity and connects them to appropriate and timely care. NAMI is calling for a standard of care for crisis services in every community that includes — 24/7 call centers that answer 988 calls locally, mobile crisis teams and crisis stabilization programs — that end the revolving door of ER visits, arrests, incarceration and homelessness.
Learn more about NAMI's vision here.
Florida Mental Health Advocacy
Personal experience with mental illness and navigating the mental health system makes family members and people with mental illness uniquely qualified to both educate elected officials on issues of importance and advocate for the policies and funding necessary to provide services that are essential to people with mental illness.
NAMI Jacksonville is a member of the Florida Mental Health Advocacy Coalition. The Florida Mental Health Advocacy Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of organizations that advocate for policy changes to improve the quality of life for those who live with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder in the state of Florida. FLMHAC is mostly composed of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Mental Health America (MHA) affiliates, but welcomes other mental health advocacy group representatives with a shared mission. Please sign up for Advocacy Alerts here.
FLMHAC 2021 Legislative Priorities
Public policy makes a difference in the lives of both the people living with mental health conditions and the people in their lives. Changes in policy can mean better outcomes. Our advocacy efforts have led to many victories including:
- Securing better funding for research.
- Protecting access to treatments and services.
- Attaining mental health parity to ensure that mental illness is treated equally to physical illness in most insurance plans.
But we still have work to do, and we need your help. Learn about mental health advocacy. Talk to your neighbors, friends and family about why these issues are important. Find out how you can get involved with your local NAMI’s advocacy efforts.
To learn more about NAMI’s stance on advocacy and public policy issues that affect adults and children living with mental illness and their families, read the NAMI Public Policy Platform (PDF).
Learn about advocacy on a national level by visiting The National Alliance on Mental Illness