Thousands Of Oklahomans In Crisis Have Already Dialed 9-8-8 For Help

News 9 - September 6, 2022 9:05 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – 

This week is Suicide Prevention Week. With a new crisis hotline, its goal is to spread awareness and save lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 45,000 Americans died by suicide in 2020.

Oklahoma Department Of Mental Health And Substance Abuse Services director of communications Jeff Dismukes said the 9-8-8 crisis hotline launched in July is meant to help bring the number down.

“We have received about 5,000 calls since 988 launched in Oklahoma on July 5th,” Dismukes said.

Dismukes said more Oklahomans will call 9-8-8 as word-of-mouth continues to spread.

“Our expectation is that more people would reach out and use that number,” Dismukes said.

When someone picks up the phone, Dismukes said resources on the ground are ready to go.

“We have expanded access to urgent care centers in the state and crisis centers in the state,” Dismukes said. “We have mobile crisis response and, for the last two years, we have expanded are capabilities in telehealth.”

When someone calls, people will get the support they need.

Dismukes acknowledged there is still more work to be done across the state.

“It is important to talk about those barriers and knock those barriers down,” Dismukes said. “It is about partnerships. It’s about addressing stigma and helping the public realize what behavioral health issues are. And there are resources available regardless of if you have the ability to pay or not.”

For more information on resources available, you can click here.

It is our policy to provide resources for anybody considering self-harm when reporting about a situation involving suicide or a suicide attempt. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.

The Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) connect veterans and service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

Crisis Text Line is a texting service for emotional crisis support. To speak with a trained listener, text HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.

You can also call 988 for assistance.

 

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