© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today Banner

The concerns looming over the 988 mental health hotline

GettyImages-1234463178

Dialing for help in a mental health crisis just got shorter. Now, Americans can dial 988 instead of a previous 10-digit number directing them to the national suicide prevention hotline.

The Biden administration is giving local call centers $432 million to beef up support via additional staffing and Spanish-speaking call takers. 

However, some concerns emerged during the service’s rollout. There are questions about how local call centers will continue to fund these efforts long-term after the initial funding runs dry.

With call centers already stretched thin and staff burnt out, how long can these scaled-up centers operate? Questions about police intervention have spurred fears, especially in the queer and Black communities.

We talk about the new hotline and how local call centers are addressing these concerns.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven