DENVER (KDVR) – A new National Suicide Prevention Hotline number was activated on Saturday, changing it from a ten-digit number to 988, in an effort to get those who need assistance an easier way to get the help.
Local mental health professionals said they are hopeful this new number will make access to services more accessible, especially for those considering suicide.
Dr. Anat Geva with HealthOne Behavioral Health and Wellness Center has high expectations for the line.
“Calling that number, you might get resources, or a list of things to do, places to try, or you will have [a] link where that person can connect you to that next service via a welfare check or really any other service in your community,” Geva said.
Kristen Marshall lost her son Ryan to suicide back in 2018. She hopes this line will make access to mental healthcare more accessible.
“If I break my leg it’s okay to go to a doctor, but if something isn’t working right [mentally], it’s not okay to get help and we need to make it absolutely normal for people to get help and to learn how to handle things,” Marshall explained. “For me, the most important thing is I want to keep other parents from having to deal with this pain because it’s a pain that doesn’t go away.”
Colorado call numbers are expected to increase substantially. The hotline currently takes around 48,000 calls per year, but with a shorter number and the line welcoming anyone with a mental health crisis, or anyone concerned for their loved ones, those call centers are likely to receive an uptick in the number of incoming calls.
If you have an out-of-state number you will be connected to someone in that state, but officials say call-takers will be able to patch you through with a specialist in Colorado if requested to do so.
If you are struggling with mental health, then please take advantage of this hotline and know that suicide is never the answer. There are resources available to get you through whatever it is that you are going through.