Congress expanding helpline centers for easier access

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 9:34 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -May is Mental Health Awareness Month and as we recognize mental health concerns, the federal government is working to make mental health hotlines easier and more accessible for all people.

This would impact help centers across the nation and make it easier for people to access help at any time.

Big changes are coming this summer. Starting July 16th people can dial 988 to be connected to a local crisis center from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

This will make it easier for those going through challenges to talk to someone and get help.

The helpline center in Sioux Falls is excited to see these programs expand and help to serve more people.

“It’s going to give us the opportunity to help more people, to really make life, not necessarily easier but have a funnel to guide people,” said Evonne Hawe, clinical director for the SD helpline center.

Evonne Hawe, clinical director for the helpline center says this can especially benefit those in crisis.

“When you’re in a crisis our brains don’t work very well, so that’s what they’re looking at, is how can we make this easier for people in a crisis to not have to struggle through getting help,” said Hawe.

She says this can help to direct people to the right source.

“Some of the crisis calls end up going through 911 and that goes to police departments and different sheriff’s offices and if that can create something and have people go through the 1-800 number and through that avenue it takes the that off of that,” said Hawe.

Until 988 is active in July, if you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.

For more information on the different expansions expected to come in July you can follow the link at: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline | SAMHSA

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