NC receives $3 million grant to support National Suicide Prevention's new 3-digit hotline

The CDC estimates 1-in-5 Americans will experience a mental health crisis in a given year.

Currently the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. But coming soon a new, shorter number will launch. This summer, if you or someone you know is suicidal, users can call or text 988 and chat with a professional.

"Some people especially when you are thinking about self-harm, you may not want to talk to somebody. So this technology really does change the world for us," said James Miller of National Alliance of Mental Illness Wake County.

Miller says the organization is seeing a 43% increase in requests for services, year-over-year since 2020.

"It's good that people recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health," said Miller.

According to the CDC, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder in their lifetime.

Researchers estimate suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24.

According to the Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth are most at risk. Their mental health survey last year found 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered death by suicide.

"The stigma is still there mental health is not something people want to talk about we're here to crush that. Talk to your friends be a mentor other people and be there for them," Miller said.

The state department of health announced Wednesday it is receiving a $3.3 million dollar grant to help with the expected rise in calls from people using the new 3-digit number.

The agency says the two-year funding will be used to staff up its call center, hire and train more counselors.

The new 988 crisis hotline will launch in mid-July.
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