Teenager girl with depression sitting alone on the floor in the dark room. Black and white photo
Cover Image © Stanislaw Mikulski

Spreading the Word: U.S. Suicide Hotline to Become “988”

I have never personally been impacted by suicide or suicidal thoughts, but I have dealt with depression and I know people who have personally dealt with the impact of suicide committed by a loved one, or bouts of having their own thoughts. While this post is brief — a trigger warning is in order before proceeding.

The Announcement (The Most Important Part)

Straight from The San Diego Union-Tribune

With U.S. suicide rates up by more than one-third since the turn of the century, the Federal Communications Commission’s recommendation in 2019 that the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline be shortened from 1 (800) 273-8255 to 988 made all the sense in the world. A short number is far easier to remember for the millions of Americans who think about suicide and desperately need ready contact with trained counselors at the 180-plus crisis centers across the nation.

[A] firm date was finally established for when 988 should be universally available across the nation: July 16, 2022. The Department of Health and Human Services announced that $282 million in funding has been approved to improve and expand the crisis network’s operations and infrastructure, to establish a sub-network for Spanish-speakers and to increase staffing at local call centers.

The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Opinion: U.S. suicide hotline to become 988. It’s easier to remember for those who need it.

The 3-paragraph article then goes on to say that, “the Kaiser Family Foundation reported earlier this year that 40 percent of U.S. adults had symptoms of depressive disorder or anxiety — quadruple the number from before the pandemic … “

A Reminder: Suicide is Linked to Depression & These are Trying Times

I just wanted to share the bit above because I feel like more people should know about this.

As I said in the opening of this post, I haven’t personally been impacted by suicide closely or ever had any of those thoughts myself — but I have dealt with depression before and I’ve seen the pain that suicide, and thoughts of it, can cause.

We have lost waaaaay too many people to this particular issue, and life is only getting more complicated and arduous by the day. We don’t talk about it much, so I’m throwing it in my visitors’ faces right now.

  1. Mental Health matters.
  2. Check on your friends and family.
  3. Please care for each other and practice empathy.

Realize that this time of year, specifically, is VERY hard for some people. You never know what someone is going through, what they are thinking, or how they may take something that you simply (and maybe even “innocently”) view as harmless fun.

We are not all the same. We do not all respond to things the same.

So… Yeah…

BE KIND. colorful vector typography banner.  A reminder to help prevent depression and suicide.

I will close this one with one last lift from the very brief opinion piece in The San Diego Union-Tribune: “For those with … symptoms [such as severe depressive disorder or anxiety], please call 1 (800) 273-8255 — the present hotline [for help].” We care and we love you, people.

Peace, and thanks for reading.

The soundtrack for this post provided by…

Image Credits:
– Cover Image © Stanislaw Mikulski (Shutterstock)
– Body Image © HowLettery (Shutterstock)

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Created by Alex Volkov