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What’s the problem with the new suicide hotline, 988?

What's the problem with the new suicide hotline, 988?Image of the article titled

Photo: Lisa Schultz ((((Shutterstock).

By now, you’ve probably heard of it National suicide prevention lifeline soon I got a new 3-digit phone number: 988.. For easy-to-understand reasons, this easy-to-remember code is big from the media as supporters want to allow lifeline needs to have the same three-digit numbers in their heads as 911. It’s getting a lot of attention (previous number was 1). -800-273-8255, and it still works. )

However, you may also have noticed the opposite movement in this media push.Many supporters say — often Infographics similar to those on Instagram In times of public unrest — and encourage people No Call the new number. but why?

What is the argument against calling 988?

One infographic in mass circulation This says: “988 is No Friendly. Do not call, post or share without knowing the risks. Risks include police involvement, humiliating involuntary treatment in emergency rooms and mental hospitals, the use of medical violence to punish “uncooperative” or suffering patients, compulsory drug administration, Includes crushing medical debt and life-changing trauma. Another person says The line says, “It’s not the hotline we need,” and tells the people behind it, “Don’t talk about what happens after you call.” A good number to make a call if you need to make a call. You will be taken to the hospital for safety. ”The figure avoids the American mental health care system unless danger is imminent. We call it “shit”.

It may be confusing to see mental health advocates opposed lifelines that connect risky individuals and resources, but their criticisms also reflect what the original lifelines faced. increase. The main issues are summarized in concerns that law enforcement officers respond to mental health calls, leading to problems or dangerous situations for those seeking help from trained counselors staffing line call centers. There is a possibility. You may also be hospitalized or take medicine. Finally, there are concerns about the possibility of call tracing and the fact that the line is sensitive, but the person operating the line uses the caller’s information to find local resources. Each of these issues can be harmful in and of itself, but it also increases the likelihood of facing social or professional consequences when making a call.

What does Lifeline say about this?

When asked to respond to concerns raised by supporters, lifeline representatives instructed Lifehacker: FAQ page Deal with call tracing and police involvement. The page says:

Lifeline does not currently have the ability to directly “track” callers, chats, or text users in the same way as 911 providers. … In the atypical situation where a person needs to contact emergency services to prevent serious or fatal harm and he or she does not want or cannot share his or her location information, life The line counselor must provide the 911 operator with the required information (caller / text) User’s phone number or chat user’s IP address-Allows the user to do whatever he can to find the individual.

The FAQ states, “Lifelines are an emergency service (911, police) only if the risk of harm to yourself or others is imminent or ongoing, and if there is a less invasive plan for the caller. , Sheriff) is encouraged to contact and seek assistance. Texter safety cannot cooperate with individuals. Less than 2% of lifeline calls are related to emergency services. If so, more than half of these emergency dispatches will be done with the consent of the caller. “

Vibrant, the organization behind the line, also acknowledges that contact with emergency services can be “traumatic and dangerous” and is trying to avoid the occurrence of emergency services. However, researchers and supporters are still concerned.As a suicide scholar I wrote on TwitterIt is good that the number of trained crisis teams involved in the 988 is simple and increasing, but “still related to aggressive rescue without consensus. [and] Track calls [and] If you think you need it, send it to the police. “

What does this mean to you?

The suicide scholars mentioned above, the big problem here is that people in need of help in times of crisis are professional and social, fearing the consequences of police contact, involuntary hospitalization, or their calls. It is possible that you will not be able to make a call, whether or not there is, or the way of housing.

As Lifehacker’s senior health editor Beth Skwarecki pointed out in her, if you’re facing any mental health crisis, you’ll get a call. Overview of new line featuresIf you’re not at risk and just want to talk to someone, consider a warmline instead. Find the list of warmline numbers here..

However, if you are in imminent danger and decide to call 988, there is no guarantee that police will be dispatched or taken to the hospital. There is no script that a trained crisis counselor on the other side should follow. It may help you make a safety plan, contact friends and family, and find other resources. If you agree and the option is available, they may also arrange a follow-up call with you or send a counselor to your home.

Concerns about police contact and unwilling intervention are absolutely valid, but there are several options, whether you are in immediate danger or just need to talk to someone. If you end up calling 988, don’t be afraid to say that you are worried about the emergency service exchange, especially if it makes the situation worse. Crisis counselors are trained to have free conversations and their ultimate goal is your safety. Therefore, make it clear that there are consequences that could compromise your safety, such as police dispatch or anything that could affect your work.

What’s the problem with the new suicide hotline, 988?

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