‘988′ now in effect, call centers already seeing an increase in calls

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 11:41 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With the recent launch of the National 988 Suicide Prevention Hotline, an increase in people seeking help has already been reported.

The hotline connects callers to call centers based on their area code, with Region 1 handling most of the calls in the Charlottesville area.

“With 988, the number provides quick and easy help, but we’re also encouraging callers in our area to use our regional call center phone number if they are seeking care within their immediate area,” said Liz Signorelli Moore with Region 1.

Moore has been a part of the rollout for the 988 hotline in the Charlottesville area, and says that compared to an average weekend before the launch of the hotline, the call center saw a 99% increase in calls.

“The call center vendor for 85% of the state is one company that’s doing four of the five regions. They’re based in Arlington, Virginia, and realistically 85% of the calls with a Virginia area code are going into that same call center,” said Moore.

That means that when you call, you may be getting help from further away. So if you want to ensure you’re getting help from your area, call your regional center’s number.

“Our regional call center in Charlottesville’s number is 434-290-9704, in case anybody wants to reach our call center and appropriate services more quickly,” said Moore.

Moore says Region 1 has been preparing for 988′s launch, so while the weekend was busy, it was a successful start to improving mental health resources.

“988 serves as a universal entry point, so that no matter where you live, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help. It’s an important step towards strengthening and transforming crisis care,” said Moore.

If you want to help handle some of these increasing calls near you, you can go to Careers Home - PRS Inc. (applicantpro.com)

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