How the 988 National Mental Health Crisis Hotline Works in Northeast Ohio | The sound of ideas

President Joe Biden has declared mental health a national crisis. Rates of anxiety and depression that had been rising over the past decade have accelerated dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many experts say there’s a greater need for behavioral health specialists right now than ever before, and some people looking for resources have to wait months before they can get an appointment with a therapist.

This has made it even harder for people to get help during a mental health emergency. Currently, the majority of people facing a crisis dial 9-1-1, but these services are not equipped to handle these issues because few first responders have been trained to broadcast crisis scenarios.

There are growing concerns that the police could actually make the situation even worse, and many of the victims of fatal police shootings in the past year have been people dealing with a mental health emergency who have contacted the police to ask help. To help address this problem, the United States has launched a new national suicide and crisis hotline, 9-8-8. The new three-digit number is used instead of the old 1-800 number. This number is easier to remember and centralizes where people can call for help. It also aims to make mental health care more accessible to everyone in the United States.

Today on Sound of Ideas we talk to someone directly involved in implementing the hotline here in Northeast Ohio.

Later, the monarch butterfly is a frequent visitor to the backyard in northeast Ohio. But a global conservation organization says butterfly numbers have dropped so much it makes them an endangered species – with action needed to prevent the possibility of extinction. Ahead, we speak with two local experts about the plight of the monarch butterfly, what is being said about our current environmental situation, and what steps can be taken now to help.

These topics, plus we hear from author and journalist Neil Zurcher on his new book which chronicles ten disasters in Ohio’s history.

About Stephen Ewing

Check Also

US health task force calls for routine screening for anxiety in adults

In a nod to the country’s pressing mental health crisis, an influential group of medical …