Raleigh, NC (STL.News) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services has been awarded the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 State Planning Grant through Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline). This grant, totaling $129,555, provides support to begin implementing the Lifeline’s new 988 number.
In July 2022, 988 will become the national three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Congress recently established the 988 number as a simplified resource for individuals in crisis who need assistance. Anyone needing support should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until then.
“Crisis intervention and stabilization are critical for suicide prevention, particularly as many North Carolinians are feeling more isolated, overwhelmed and experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression due to the pandemic,” said Kody H. Kinsley, NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and I/DD. “We are committed to partnering with the NC Suicide Prevention Call Center, state leaders and other key stakeholders to ensure North Carolina is prepared for the rollout of the national 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number next year.”
In 2019, more than 1,300 people died by suicide in North Carolina.