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In the first three months of this year, Indiana answered 3 out of 4 calls within the state for the National Suicide Prevention Line.

Image courtesy of Marília Castelli / Unsplash

& # xD; If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK – or send “GURI” 741741. & # xD; & # xD; On July 16, the National Association for the Prevention of Suicide Lifeline will launch a new triangular number, 988. Designed to be a 911 mental health model that makes it easier for people to access mental health care. & # XD; & # xD; It is also expected to lead to an increase in calls. But many states are already struggling to keep up with the current call volume. & # XD; & # xD; In the first three months of this year, Indiana answered 3 out of 4 calls within the state on the National Suicide Prevention Line, which is about average. The rest of the calls were transferred to other states, and about 12 percent of Indiana calls during that period – just over 1,000 – dropped before anyone answered. & # xD; & # xD; Analysis of Lifeline prevention suicides reveals that nationwide over the same period, 18 per cent of all calls were neglected before the caller received assistance. & # XD; & # xD; In an email, Jim Gavin, spokesman for the Indiana Social and Family Services Administration (FSSA), said the state’s goal is to answer 90 percent of Indiana calls by 2023, with the help of up to five call centers. & # XD; & # xD; Currently, Indiana has three crisis call centers: Gary, Muncie and Lafayette. & # xD; & # xD; In addition, “American Mental Health in Indiana, Indianapolis, and RemedyLIVE, Fort Wayne, are on track to become a 988 facility,” Gavin said. & # xD; & # xD; Mental health advocates say state-level funding is needed to sustain crisis services. But now, there is no government investment l for line 988 in Indiana. Gavin said the FSSA will use federal funding to increase the capacity of the call center. & # XD; & # xD; Some Indiana call centers employ vacancies, according to a list of 988 jobs prepared by the US Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Administration. & # XD; & # xD; Federal funding to help boost call center staff includes $ 105 million for hiring local centers across the country. The money is channeled through state-level agencies. & # XD; & # xD; While the FSSA is still in the process of finalizing call center contracts for their work 988, Gavin said the centers have received other federal capacity-building grants over the past three years. & # XD; & # xD; In addition, “local communities and community mental health centers throughout Indiana have established and sustained mobile crisis groups through local and federal funding.” & # xD; & # xD; One of the goals of the mobile crisis response system is to reduce law enforcement involvement during mental health crises and to deploy mental health professionals and nurses instead of deploying police. & # XD; & # xD; Currently, existing mobile crisis teams are not yet part of Indiana’s 988 crisis system, but will be in the near future as we increase capacity, and develop technology, to ensure that crisis services are more integrated across the state, said Gavin. & # xD; & # xD; Indiana is using the 988 arrival to fund a massive crisis response system, he added. & # xD; & # xD; “This will eventually include more than one person being linked to facility 988 , but also someone who responds and a safe place to go for help, if needed, “he said. The state will continue to operate its 211 line – telephone and text line connecting Hoosiers and local resources including food warehouses, homeless shelters and mental health services. & # XD; & # xD; “Many Hoosiers are aware of the support provided by Indiana 211, including the option to reach a crisis expert through the Good Problem Helpline at that number,” Gavin said. “It will take time for the Hoosiers to acquire the same knowledge as the 988, so we will keep the option … at least for the time being.” & # xD; & # xD; Contact health journalist Carter Barrett at cbarrett@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @carter_barrett. & # xD;

& # xD;

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK – or send “HOME” 741741.

& # xD;

On July 16, the National Prevention Lifeline will launch a new triangular number, 988. It is designed to be a 911 mental health model that makes it easier for people to access mental health care.

& # xD;

It is also expected to lead to an increase in calls. But many states are already struggling to keep up with the current call volume.

& # xD;

In the first three months of this year, Indiana answered 3 out of 4 calls within the state on the National Suicide Prevention Line, which is about average. The rest of the calls were transferred to other states, and about 12 percent of Indiana calls during that period – just over 1,000 – were settled before anyone answered.

& # xD;

Analysis of Lifeline Prevention data shows that nationwide during the same period, 18 per cent of all calls were dropped before the caller received assistance.

& # xD;

In an email, Jim Gavin, spokesman for the Indiana Social and Family Services Administration (FSSA), said the state’s goal is to answer 90 percent of Indiana calls by 2023, with the help of up to five call centers.

& # xD;

Currently, Indiana has three crisis call centers: Gary, Muncie and Lafayette.

& # xD;

In addition, “American Mental Health in Indiana, Indianapolis, and RemedyLIVE, Fort Wayne, are on track to become a 988 facility,” Gavin said.

& # xD;

Mental health advocates say state-level funding is needed to sustain crisis services. But right now, there is no government funding for the 988 line in Indiana. Gavin said the FSSA will use federal funding to increase the capacity of the call center.

& # xD;

Some Indiana Call Centers employ vacancies, according to a list of 988 jobs prepared by the U.S. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

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