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New phone number underway for mental health crisis line

Video from WALB
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 4:32 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The state is developing a new 3-digit crisis line designed to help those struggling with their mental health. Instead of dialing 911 for help, callers will be able to dial 988 to speak with someone trained for those types of situations.

Until then you can keep calling the 11-digit crisis line at 1 (800) 715-4225, but there are other resources.

The new crisis line is expected to be active in July, but there are other ways to get the help you need in a dangerous situation.

Debbie Richardson, a spokesperson for National Alliance for Mental Illness, said if you call the police to help de-escalate an issue that started from someone’s mental health, they have staff trained to help.

Those officers are called CIT officers. They go through 40 hours of crisis intervention training.

Richardson said 50% of Albany Police Department staff are CIT trained.

She said they’re equipped to identify people with mental health problems and de-escalate situations they’re involved in.

Debbie Richardson, National Alliance For Mental Illness Representative
Debbie Richardson, National Alliance For Mental Illness Representative(WALB)

“They learn mediation, de-escalation, and after that, training. They have a greater understanding of how mental health can affect behaviors at times,” said Richardson.

She says because of all the trauma Albany has gone through with storms and the pandemic, mental health resources are especially important for children.

Adding that the disasters are leading to more anxiety and depression.

Wednesday the state capitol is raising awareness for Mental Health and the resources to help. It is virtual and open to the public.

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