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Wisconsin sees jump in crisis calls after new 988 hotline for mental health emergencies

In just a few days, a new three-digit mental health hotline is set to go live across the country: 988.
Posted at 8:33 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 21:33:29-04

Wisconsin experienced a jump in crisis calls following the switch to a new three-digit "988" suicide prevention lifeline number.

The change happened Saturday. Operators in Wisconsin took 170 calls Saturday and 168 on Sunday. Normally, it is between 100 and 150.

The switch to 988 is a nationwide initiative to make it easier for people in a crisis to connect with the help they need.

RELATED COVERAGE: Inside look at the center answering calls for anyone who dials 988, the new suicide prevention number

Some people call it the new 911 for mental health emergencies. Anyone with a Wisconsin area code calling 988 will connect to one call center that covers all 72 counties in Wisconsin.

Ultimately, the goal is to help whoever calls the line in whatever way they need and hopefully keep people from needing the police or inpatient hospital services. That includes loved ones of someone who is mentally ill or needs help.

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