Beginning Saturday, everyone in the state will have access to the new 988 crisis support line.
The easy-to-remember three-digit dialing code, along with a statewide focus on more proactive and coordinated care known as the Crisis Now system, will reach significantly more New Mexicans in need of mental and behavioral health support, according to the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD).
“The 988 Crisis Now system will revitalize access to behavioral health services through a coordinated system, triggered by a call, text or chat asking for help,” Neal Bowen, PhD., director of Behavioral Health Services Division said in the announcement. “We have listened to many communities across the state, including folks who have made use of the existing system to respond to crises, to build a better response to behavioral health crises, that is to get people the care they want and deserve.”
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, the most recent study in 2020 said suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10-14 and 25-34 , the third leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 15-24, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.
In New Mexico the rate was around 19.2-30.5 per 100,000 people which is much higher compared to other states.
988 Lifeline Hotline’s Website says:
Know the Warning Signs
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
People who call 988 are given three options; 1) to connect with the veterans crisis line, 2) to connect with the Spanish sub-network, 3) to remain on the line and be connected to a crisis center. People can also text the word “TALK” to 988, and will be connected to their local crisis call center that is equipped to respond to texts. Chat is also available through Lifeline’s website: http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.