The state of California has launched a new 988 hotline as part of a nationwide effort to improve access to psychiatric care for people in crisis.
988 is a quicker route to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline operated through a network of regional crisis centers.
Each state can set up its own hotline under a bipartisan law signed by President Trump in 2020. The initial state investment is enough to get the program up and running and to determine if it has adequate resources to provide the service.
The need for the hotline is pretty clear. The nation’s suicide rate has increased almost 30% since 2000 and suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among young adults and adolescents. The pandemic only excacerbated mental health issues in the country.
Legislators will be watching the results of the line and may have to increase the funding. A bill to introduce a 30 cent charge per line in California stalled in the Legislature.
WHEN PEOPLE GET USED TO PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT, EQUAL TREATMENT FEELS LIKE DISCRIMINATION. Thomas Sowell