Kansas City Struggles To Cope With 988 Suicide Hotline Switcheroo

New public safety protocols will impact local workers at mental health crisis centers.

Here's a worthwhile peek behind the scenes . . .

"Basically, 988 is a rebranding – but one that is expected to have a huge impact. The national crisis counseling number is currently 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and it connects callers with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a network of call centers across the country. That is the number that’s been regularly displayed during broadcasts and news stories about suicide.

"But it’s hard to remember. Changing it to 988 is intended to make the number as easy to remember and dial as 911. It may also separate the less acute mental health calls – ones that don’t need an ambulance or law enforcement officer for safety – from a police response, since the calls won’t go through a police dispatcher."

Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com link . . .

Kansas City crisis centers gear up for flood of calls with debut of new suicide prevention hotline

Big changes are coming for crisis line call takers as the date nears for the July 16 debut of the 988 suicide prevention hotline number. By some federal estimates, call centers may see the number of calls increase by 14 percent as the new number gets publicized.