According to NBC4i, 9-8-8 will soon become Ohio’s go-to number for mental health crises, all while attempting to divert care from cops to counselors.
Beginning July 16, Ohioans dealing with a mental health or substance abuse emergency can dial or text 988 to get connected with a counselor – a move aimed at expanding care while eliminating the hassle of punching in, and remembering, the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.
The statewide transition comes about a month after the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to align the Buckeye State with a federal mandate requiring phone service providers to direct 988 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July.
“This is just going to be eventually as ubiquitous as 911,” said Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, bureau chief of the Office of Prevention at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
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