Saturday, November 27, 2021
Nov. 27, 2021

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Online forums to redesign national crisis hotline

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Washington state officials are asking for help in designing a behavioral health crisis system throughout the state and establishing a “988” call number to reach a national behavioral health hotline.

The proposed hotline will connect people with the help and support they need, officials said.

Two years ago, federal officials released a report recommending the use of a three-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and in July 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the necessary rules to allow those callers to be connected directly to counselors. All calls to 988 will be so linked by July 16, 2022.

The current suicide prevention number is 800-273-8255 (TALK).

To evaluate the current system and identify things to improve it, a series of virtual community forums are planned for service providers and the public around the state. Those will explore local perspectives on how to improve Washington’s crisis response and suicide prevention system.

The sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • First responders — 3-4:30 p.m., Oct. 27. To register, go to ubne.ws/firstresponders
  • All community members — 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 28. To register, go to ubne.ws/everyone.
  • A second public session will be 3-4:30, Nov. 3. To register, go to ubne.ws/everyonesecond.
  • Families and service users — 6:30-8 p,m., Nov. 3. To register go to ubne.ws/serviceusers.
  • Rural, farm communities — 6:30-8 p.m., Nov. 4. To register go to ubne.ws/rural.

For more information email to HCAprogram1477@hca.wa.gov and visit at ubne.ws/CRIS.

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