Rates of mental illness and suicide in the U.S. are too high and rising. To ensure that Americans in need of behavioral health services can more easily connect to the care they need, the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number will become a new dialing code, 988, this July. Not only will this new number provide a different entry point for those in crisis, but it represents an opportunity to ensure existing emergency response infrastructure is prepared to play a role in guiding individuals in crisis to the care they require.
For 988 to fully benefit those in need, however, it will require strengthened coordination between federal agencies, greater investments into training for behavioral health workers, and more sustainable financing for the crisis system. The federal government can and should do more to help states build on their existing emergency response systems and behavioral health infrastructure to deliver the full continuum of crisis response services.
Please join BPC on June 15 as we release a new report with recommendations for a more comprehensive mental health crisis response system.
Read the full report here.
Anand Parekh, M.D.
Chief Medical Advisor, BPC
Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Fireside Chat with:
Anita Everett, M.D.
Director of the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Jerome Adams, M.D.
20th U.S. Surgeon General
Chief Public Policy Officer, Mental Health America
Keris Jän Myrick
Co-Director, The Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative
Director of Medicaid Coordination, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health
Senior Policy Analyst, BPC