As of July 16th, 2022, the national suicide hotline has been changed to a 3 digit number. Before this day, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number was 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Now, it is a simple, designated three digit number, 988. In a world with so much struggle, this is a monumental moment. Mental health awareness is becoming more prevalent each and every day. With this new number, I believe it is a step in the right direction when it comes to making it easier for people to access help in a time of crisis.
During my freshman year in undergrad, I wrote about mental health for one of my final exams. It was a journal article that needed to have a focus point of a form of media. As someone who is vocal about mental health, I, of course, decided to write about something in that area. Since we had to use a form of media, I chose music. I discussed the impact that music makes on those struggling with mental illness. In one section of my article, I titled it the suicide and crisis lifeline number. Fast forward, here I am in grad school, I am not only writing a blog post for my internship about mental health awareness but I am writing about how the phone number has changed for the lifeline. This is a full circle moment for me!
When it comes to being vocal about mental health, I am also the type of person that will post positive quotes and sayings on my instagram account, as often as possible, in order to remind people of how great and capable they are as a human. I even have a highlight reel filled with the quotes I have posted in case someone stumbles across my account and needs to read something positive to lift their spirits. When word came out that they were changing the hotline number, you can imagine that instagram was filled with posts of the new number so that people were aware of the change. I’m sure you can see where this is going…I re-posted one on my account too! It’s times like this when social media doesn’t seem toxic and is a place that brings awareness to important matters in the world.
If you are reading this blog post, I want you to know that you matter. You belong on this earth. There is a reason that you are here. You have a purpose. Most importantly, you are not alone. Life is full of ups and downs but I want you to know that you are capable of getting through the tough times and enjoying the good times. You deserve to accept and embrace the wonderful moments in your life. I hope you know that if you ever find yourself in a place of crisis, you are strong and worthy of help from others. I hope that, with this new change in the hotline number, it encourages people to call it even when they are scared and overwhelmed.
I am very passionate about mental health awareness. I have struggled and healed through my own mental health journey. I believe that I will always be healing, no matter where I am in my life. I have chosen a career path that reminds me of how far I have come and how much more I have to learn about mental health and myself. I believe that I was put on this earth to help others and I love that I get to spend my time sitting with others as they walk through their own healing journey. The mental health world has grown so much since I was first introduced to it and it still continues to grow. The change of the lifeline number may seem small, but to me it is a really big moment in time. From writing about the suicidal prevention number in undergrad, to writing about the change of the number now, I am reminded of why continuing to bring awareness to mental health is so important.
Everyone is experiencing life in their own unique way. We all have struggles and are learning how to navigate through this world where there is so much chaos. However, where there is chaos, there is light. This new designated number for suicide and crisis prevention is a beam of light in our chaotic world. A three digit number that can reach a voice with three quick clicks. This change within the mental health world can help someone faster than it has helped anyone before. This three digit number will continue to save lives everyday.