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According to the CDC, one in five individuals will experience a mental illness in a given year. Modeled after 911, the new three-digit 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline has been created to offer people experiencing a mental health crisis to have a new way to reach out and speak with trained counselors. Warren County Sheriff Martin Edwards says this new 988 hotline could assist in decreasing the number of repeat offenders:
“We see so often people that do need intervention and unfortunately end up in the jail and trying to get them to those places and some people so need some long-term assistance and they are simply not getting it. It is not uncommon for us to have to drive someone somewhere to leave them for that and long distances from here. Then unfortunately we see them back in the community within a week or so and nothing has changed. We are on this merry go round of coming back in, coming back in, and I would really like to see that broken and get long term assistance for the people that need it. I am hoping we work that way and maybe 988 will help some of that.”
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
**Written by WMOI/WRAM Director of Communications Kelsey Crain**