NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It’s been nearly a week since the new three-digit number – 988 – was launched, connecting to the existing national suicide prevention lifeline. Health officials in New Hanover County are praising the new phone number.
By having an easy-to-remember number, the goal is to improve access to services and support for people considering suicide, or who have mental health-related distress. The line accepts calls and texts, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A national network of local crisis centers provide free and confidential care and support to anyone in need of help.
“The most important time to get help is when you are in the midst of a crisis so we need to be able to respond, when people are truly needing that assistance. They won’t always reach out, so when they do we need to be there,” said New Hanover County Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko.
“They can keep the person on the phone for about an hour, you’re going to cut down the likelihood that they are going to commit suicide by 70%, by just keeping them on the phone,” said Matthew Mitchell, Coastal Horizons licensed clinical social worker.
There is also on online chat feature on 988lifeline.org. The chat is for anyone who needs support for a suicidal, mental health and/or substance use crisis.
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