New funding will help North Carolina transition to 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Lifeline number
A new federal grant will help North Carolina transition to a three-digit suicide prevention lifeline.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will receive $3.3 million to expand support for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
This funding will help the state transition to 9-8-8, the new dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Beginning in July, 9-8-8 will replace the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The lifeline allows people in crisis to talk, chat, or text with trained call staff around the clock. Staff can provide counseling along with information on local community resources and referrals.
NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley said in a news release that the easy-to-remember 9-8-8 number is “a resource that will save lives and is an important investment in supporting the behavioral health and resilience of North Carolinians."
Officials say call volume is expected to increase when the 9-8-8 number is implemented. Grant funds will also be used to ensure the call center is sufficiently staffed with trained counselors to meet the increased demand.