988 Suicide & Crisis hotline: Helping to Increase Access to Mental Health Crisis Support

Employee Benefits

988 Suicide & Crisis hotline: Helping to Increase Access to Mental Health Crisis Support

On July 16th, the U.S. introduced the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – an easy-to-remember three-digit number for 24/7 access to free and confidential mental health crisis support. The new, shorter number is a transition away from the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 lifeline provides employers with an additional resource to combat the mental health crisis and support employees and their families.

During the week after the National Suicide Hotline switched to the shorter 988 number, calls increased by 45%. 1 The 988 Suicide & Crisis hotline attributed the increase in communications to the transition to the shortened number and the awareness of the new resource.

The new number may also help employers with attraction and retention. A recent American Psychological Association survey found that 8 in 10 U.S. workers say that how employers support their employees’ mental health will be an important consideration when they seek future job opportunities. Employers interested in promoting the 988 lifeline can access materials on the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration site. They should also reach out to their health plan administrator and Employee Assistance (EAP) provider for additional resources.

Learn more about behavioral health trends to watch in 2022, by clicking below.

Seven Behavioral Health Trends for Employers to Watch in 2022

1 The Hill (7/22, Folmar)

Joel Axler, MD, FAPA

National Behavioral Health Leader

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