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    988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Launches

    Maryhaven, a behavioral health and addiction treatment provider that has served more than 300,000 Central Ohioans, applauds a new national effort to provide immediate crisis intervention for those contemplating suicide or experiencing distress from mental health or addiction issues.

    The new service, 988, launched on July 16 and it simplifies the process so that anyone in Ohio and beyond can call 988 for free, 24/7, confidential support for themselves or loved ones.

    “We know first-hand how important it is to quickly connect anyone needing immediate support to a trained counselor,” said Maryhaven President & CEO Oyauma Garrison. “We serve people who sometimes struggle with relapse, as well as individuals who, because of gambling addiction disorder, are at higher risk of suicide. Our clients and the entire Central Ohio community will benefit significantly from the 988 hotline. We are grateful to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and to other organization who dedicated the last 18 months to this much needed implementation.”

    The Lifeline provides live crisis center phone services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide translation services in over 250 additional languages for people who call 988. The 988 dialing code will also be available nationwide for text or chat (English only).

    “Too often Ohioans in crisis don’t know where to turn for help, and the stigma of asking can keep them from reaching out,” said OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss. “We are working to change all this in Ohio. Moving to a 3-digit crisis number helps increase the visibility of the help available to Ohioans experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis. 988 is more than just an easy-to-remember number—it is a direct connection to a compassionate person on the other line who is trained to provide support to anyone in distress—whether that is thoughts of suicide, emotional distress, or substance use crisis.”