As we previously reported, a new suicide hotline number, 988, launched nationwide in July. In the first week, Missouri crisis centers saw a 50% increase in calls, according to an article from the Missouri Independent. Calling 988 allows those in crisis to receive rapid access to suicide prevention and mental health support through connection with trained crisis specialists. There are seven lifeline centers in the state, which handle all Missouri contacts made to 988. The Department of Mental Health expects Missouri to receive nearly 258,033 calls to 988 during the hotline’s first year. Providers say an immediate change they would like to see with the service is adding geolocation for calls. Currently, if someone in Missouri calls 988 but has an out-of-state phone number, the call will get rerouted to the out-of-state service provider.
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