Photo by Farm Credit Mid-America.

Call 988 for a mental health crisis

By Kolt Buchenroth

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a new number designed to be easier to use and remember. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline opens its phone lines and inboxes to Ohioans experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis as well as their family members. According to Ohio’s Mental Health & Addiction Services website, those in crisis will be able to call, text or chat the 988 number and will be connected with a trained counselor that can offer them help and support.

“It’s so much easier to be able to dial three digits versus coming up with the 800 number,” said Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator and member of the Ohio State University Extension Farm Stress team. “If you have an emergency, you dial 9-1-1. If you need to talk to someone, you dial 9-8-8.”

She recommended farmers and agribusinesses place sticky-notes or stickers in their trucks and tractors and windows reminding them that someone is always ready to listen at 9-8-8.

A mental health and/or addiction crisis is not a life-threatening situation. Intervention may be possible without an immediate response by law enforcement or medics. A person may be thinking about hurting themselves or someone else or may be extremely emotionally upset or distressed. Examples of a mental health and addiction crises are:

  • Talking about suicide or planning to harm oneself.
  • Talking about harm to self or others.
  • Self-injury that doesn’t need immediate medical attention.
  • Overuse of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Extreme depression, anxiety, or other mental illness symptoms.

If someone is having a mental health and/or addiction crisis, call 988.

A mental health and/or addiction emergency is a life-threatening situation. If someone is having a mental health and/or addiction emergency, call 911.

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