‘988’ Nat’l Suicide Prevention Lifeline launches next month, Freeman’s Ozark Center has provided similar service for decades

In an effort to reduce the number of phone calls to 911 call centers throughout the US, a new national hotline will launch next month explicitly tailored for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress situations.

According to data provided by the non-profit Vibrant Health, more Americans died from a mental health crisis and substance abuse in 2018 than in every combat war since World War II.

Debbie Fitzgerald, Director of Crisis Service at Freeman’s Ozark Center, says while the national 988 hotline is new, the Ozark Center has offered the service to the Four States for decades.

“Ozark center has been operating a crisis hotline for probably 50 years. And then we became an affiliate of Vibrant, and that’s the national talk line. The 1-800-273-TALK. And we currently answer that, and that won’t be going any nor will the Ozark Center Crisis line be going away.”

You can reach the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing or texting 988 starting Saturday, July 16.

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