There is a new way to get help for folks experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis and it’s as easy as dialing 988. In July, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline launched, ushering in a link to crisis centers nationwide through a toll-free number connecting callers to trained counselors for free and confidential care.

This comes as a result of years of hard work by mental health advocates and legislators to expand access to mental health care through this critical service. After studying the feasibility of this initiative, with my support, Congress passed the bipartisan National Suicide Hotline Designation Act in 2020 to establish a quick and convenient way to get individuals the help they need so we can save lives.

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