National 988 Support Line Celebrates First Year since Launch
More than 2,000 people locally have reached out to the 988 national crisis hotline since its launch in July of 2022.
One morning, Tayla Stone, a call center/triage counselor with Memorial Behavioral Health, received a phone call from a young woman struggling with untreated depression and feelings of hopelessness.
“After hearing her story, we were able to highlight her strengths in each moment and reflect on them in a new light,” she said. “It was through this newfound recognition that I began to hear hope growing in her tone of voice.”
That is exactly the kind of help envisioned by the creators of the line, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Dialing 988 offers 24-7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Struggles with substance use
- Mental health crises
- Other kinds of emotional distress
“Our counselors have taken calls from people facing emotional distress, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse crises and callers seeking help for loved ones,” said Diana Knaebe, system administrator for Memorial Behavioral Health. “The 988 hotline also provides free crisis screening and intervention services for people of all ages, regardless of whether they have health insurance.”
Calls are answered locally by MBH employees. People can also call the Mobile Crisis Response at 217-788-7070, which is a service available around the clock to residents of Christian, Logan, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon and Scott counties.
Callers to 988 are not required to provide any personal information, and the crisis counselor who responds will not know anything about the caller beyond a phone number or IP address, if using chat.