The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has received a planning grant to prepare the state to launch 988, a national suicide prevention emergency number that will go live on July 16, 2022, nationwide. The $135,000 grant will help Oregon with resources, training, technical assistance, and infrastructure needs to allow access to the new number by that date. The grant required Oregon to begin its planning on February 1, 2021.
Oregon received the grant on January 25, 2021, through Vibrant Emotional Health, the non-profit that administers the National Suicide Prevention hotline. Vibrant has awarded grants to 49 states and territories.
The new 988 number will become the national three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Anyone needing support should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until the number is active in July 2022.
To ensure that the implementation plan will allow Oregon to be ready for the nationwide July 16, 2022 launch, the grant requires OHA to meet the following deliverables:
- Start planning for the 988 line on February 1, 2021, and end on September 1, 2021.
- By December 30, 2021, submit a final plan to both Vibrant and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that oversees and funds the National Suicide Hotline.
OHA will collaborate with the Governor’s Office, hospitals, the Medicaid Coordinated Care Organizations, counties, emergency services, state leadership, suicide prevention experts, people with lived experience, and others to create the plan. The collaboration will ensure Oregon meets the operational, clinical, and performance standards in a way that mirrors the response capability currently in place for people calling 911.
988 call centers must be members of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. More information about Lifeline members are here: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/our-crisis-centers/.
This was reported by The Oregon Health Authority on January 29, 2021.