“Our goal is to make 9-8-8 a household word that North Carolinians know they can access from wherever they are to get the help they need,” state Health Secretary Kody Kinsley said in a statement. Is Josh Jacobs in a great spot for fantasy this year? DraftKings contributors Geoff Ulrich and Pearce Dietrich join The Sweat to discuss whether Josh Jacobs will use his contract as motivation to turn in a great fantasy season.
North Carolinians now have access to the 9-8-8 phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as of Saturday. By dialling the three-digit number instead of 800-273-TALK (8255) or visiting www.988lifeline.org, people in behavioural health crises can contact the lifeline more quickly. People in need of assistance at any time can text, chat, or phone professional call centre representatives. Along with advice on available services and referrals from the community, staff members can offer crisis therapy.
The 2022-23 state budget contains $1.3 million in recurring funds to support the call center. The budget bill was developed by Republican leadership and signed into law Monday by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. In April, a $3.3 million federal grant for the 9-8-8 line was awarded to the N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. Grant funds will be used to ensure the call center is staffed with trained counselors to meet the increased demand. Callers will have access to trained crisis counselors and will receive follow-up services as needed.
In May, 98% of calls were answered in less than seven seconds — the second-best rate among the 50 states.The new 9-8-8 number is expected to bring up to 30% more calls per year “because it is easier to remember and access,” DHHS said. The call center is adding staff to make sure it is ready to handle the additional volume.