The Behavior Health Services Division will be launching a new mental health support line starting Saturday, July 16.
This 24/7 service will help people with emotional, mental or substance use distress, and will connect all New Mexicans to local resources in times of need.
According to the 988 site, “A behavioral health crisis needs a behavioral health response. 988 was established to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets our country’s growing crisis behavioral health care needs.”
This resource will take over the national suicide prevention 800 number with the aim of helping people past the one phone call and in a wider and broader sense of offering mental health help.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico rated the second highest for suicide in the nation, which is steadily 50% higher than the national average and the eighth-leading cause of death in New Mexico. It is also the leading cause of death for children ages 15-17.
With the Albuquerque Community Safety initiative taking over mental health calls, and mental health resources being more readily available to people in need, the hope, according to BHSD, is to bring those numbers down.
Why people should call or text 988
- Worried about your safety or someone you know;
- Having a hard time managing strong emotions;
- Feeling hopeless, confused or angry;
- Worried about alcohol or drug use (substance use);
- Needing information or referrals for local community services;
- Have something on your mind that you want to talk over with someone outside of current situation;
- Service member or veteran and their families in need.
The service will also have resources for Native American, LGBTQ and veteran services.
The line is free and confidential, and all one has to do is call 988 or text TALK.
The 24/7 Lifeline for Emotional, Mental, or Substance Misuse starts July 16; until then, call 1-800-273-8255.