The Southeast Utah Health Department and the HOPE Squad of Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties are excited and support the implementation of the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
We are grateful to the men and women who have worked diligently over the course of the last few years to ensure that anyone in crisis has the ability to pick up the phone and text or call in a crisis and be met with a compassionate, caring, and trained individual on the other end of the line.
With the implementation of 988, here are a few things to know:
- Counselors are trained to collaborate with callers to find the least invasive, most relevant, and most effective care plan for their crisis. This feature is available for more than just the person in crisis. If you are concerned about a loved one, you are encouraged and welcome to call as well for resources nearest you.
- Even when you are not comfortable sharing personal or identifying information, 988 counselors are trained to find whatever resources fit you best—country-wide.
- Should you call 988 or 1-800-273-TALK? Both! Never hesitate to utilize every resource at your fingertips. Don’t feel comfortable talking to someone and would like to text instead? Please do – simply text HOME to 741741. All communications styles are available to you 24-7.
- 988 Lifeline call centers are located all over the country to provide callers with local, relevant, and accessible mental health resources. If the phone you are calling 988 from has a different area code than the area you are calling from, simply let the call center know. They will connect you to the correct state’s call center.
- You are not required in any way to disclose personal information to receive help. 988 staff will help assist everyone in co-creating a safety plan, regardless of your location.
What will 988 mean for rural Utah areas like Carbon, Emery, and Grand counties? When a caller from Southeast Utah calls 988, they will have quicker access to Four Corner Community Behavioral Health’s services such as their MCOT (Mobile Crisis Outreach Team) as they are the local mental health authority for the area.
All calls made to 988 from the 435 and 801 area codes are immediately directed to the Huntsman Mental Health Institute and then can be directed to more localized resources.
Again, the Southeast Utah Health Department and the HOPE Squad of Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties are excited to see bridges being gapped by the implementation of 988. We know that any and all attempts to connect people to resources while in a crisis is an opportunity to potentially save a life.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8 or call/text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and 741741 for texting.
Amanda McIntosh is a suicide prevention specialist at the Southeast Utah Health Department and the HOPE Squad of Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties.