MHARS Board advocates for national 3-digit suicide prevention hotline
The Board of Directors for the Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County passed a resolution endorsing the Federal Communications Commission’s recent proposal to simplify the national suicide prevention hotline to a three-digit number.
The resolution has been submitted to the FCC as part of their national public comment process for the proposal.
“Our Board supports suicide prevention and effective crisis response. We are adding our voice to those of other mental health advocates nationwide who are supporting a three-digit suicide prevention hotline,” Board Chair Tim Carrion said.
He noted that a simple, short, well-promoted number can improve access to mental health care options and to counselors for someone experiencing psychiatric crisis. He also noted that the national hotline can be an essential link to the local Emergency Stabilization Services (ESS) response team and crisis resources when the person in need is a Lorain County resident.
The local mental health hotline, 1-800-888-6161, is active and will remain active. If implemented, the national three-digit number will be an additional route to connect with crisis resources.
“As a member of the National Suicide Prevention Line, the Lorain County Mental Health Hotline aims to take advantage of whatever resources are available to help Lorain County residents who are suffering with emotional or mental distress reach our services as quickly and easily as possible. This includes wholeheartedly supporting the change to a national three-digit number such as 988. We believe that the impact of a national number would be to increase public awareness that people in mental health crisis can greatly benefit from intervention and that local help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” noted Brooke Sherman, Director of Crisis Services for The Nord Center, a provider agency funded by the MHARS Board.
Read the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in full. [Items to consider: Do you support a three-digit national suicide hotline? Do you support 9-8-8 as its designated number? Do you have ideas or advocacy regarding other considerations, like texting or use of a N11 designation, as cited in the report?]
To submit a public comment to the FCC to endorse the national three-digit line, visit fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express, enter Proceeding Number 18-336, and complete the electronic form.
The mission of the MHARS Board is to improve the well-being of the community by establishing and maintaining an effective, efficient and quality system of addiction and mental health services in Lorain County. Residents will have access to the most progressive mental health and substance use disorder treatment, prevention and recovery support services available.