We obviously have a mental health problem in this country. Even before the residual effects of COVID-19, mounting anxiety in the U.S. was a problem.

The reasons may be subjective, but there are many.

Emanating from our conversation about mental health on Tuesday's radio show was the fact that back in July of 2022, Massachusetts made a change to the 911 system.

988 Facebook
988 Facebook

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts now has a specific phone number that is a little easier to remember if someone is in distress.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or other related mental health issues, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is (1-800-273-8255).

WHAT IS '988'?

Dialing the existing 1-800 number will absolutely still work; however, Massachusetts can dial 988 instead.

Moving to 988 does not mean the current 800 number (1-800-273-8255) for Lifeline goes away. Dialing either number will route callers to the same services, no matter which number they use. -mass.gov

This will make it easier for Americans in crisis or who are worried about a friend or loved one to access the help they need, while decreasing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues. Much like the use of 911 for emergency response, calling 988 will deliver a full range of crisis care services, essential to meeting behavioral health crisis needs across the nation. -mass.gov

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