Sen. Reed Wants to Shorten the Suicide Prevention Hotline - NECN
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Sen. Reed Wants to Shorten the Suicide Prevention Hotline

The Rhode Island Democrat helped introduce a bill to designate 9-8-8 as the National Suicide Prevention Line

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    Sen. Reed Wants to Shorten the Suicide Prevention Hotline
    AP
    In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. With suicides on the rise, the government wants to make the national crisis hotline easier to reach. Once implemented, people will just need to dial 988 to seek help. Currently, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are routed to one of 163 crisis centers, where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

    U.S. Sen. Jack Reed is helping lead an effort to create a three-digit suicide prevention hotline.

    The Rhode Island Democrat worked with three of his colleagues, Sens. Cory Gardner, Tammy Baldwin and Jerry Moran, to introduce a bill to designate 9-8-8 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It would include the Veterans Crisis Line.

    Reed says the current hotline is 10 digits and that's a barrier. Reed says a shorter number will help get people into care, but it's just a first step and the federal government must "put up real resources.''

    Rhode Island residents who dial the current hotline, (800) 273-TALK, are connected to BH Link. Reed says the East Providence behavioral health facility received more than 5,000 mental health and substance use crisis calls in the past year.

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    (Published Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019)

     

    SUICIDE PREVENTION: If you know someone who needs help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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