Lexington, KY – July 13, 2023
As the one-year mark approaches since the launch of 988, the three-digit National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, New Vista has seen a nearly 20 percent increase in calls from Central Kentuckians. The change from a ten-digit phone number in July of 2022 was intended to make accessing help in a behavioral health crisis as easy as dialing 911 in any other crisis.
Since July 18, 2022, New Vista has answered 3,764 calls to the Lifeline, up from 3,105 answered calls between July 18, 2021, and July 17, 2022. Callers to the Lifeline speak with trained Crisis Counselors who offer supportive listening and risk assessment and can involve an on-call therapist if needed. In the last year, hundreds of local 988 callers have been referred to other resources, like therapy, food banks, housing shelters and substance use services.
“We believe this increase in calls is a result of growing awareness around the 988 Lifeline,” said Darcy Miller, New Vista Regional Director of Emergency Response and Client Engagement. “Our goal is to encourage people to use this life-saving resource and get connected to the help they need.”
New Vista acknowledges the continued need to break stigma around mental health and expand services across Central Kentucky. The organization has created a remote volunteer program to address the increase in local calls to the 988 Lifeline. Volunteers must be Kentucky residents, have a GED or high school diploma, be at least 18 years old and be available for at least four hours of volunteer time per week. A commitment of at least nine months of volunteer service time is also required. For more information on the volunteer program, please email 988 Coordinator Cory Hudnall at [email protected].
About New Vista
New Vista is the nonprofit Community Mental Health Center serving 17 Central Kentucky counties with regional offices located in Lexington. New Vista provides services in mental health, substance use, developmental and primary care services. The mission of New Vista is to assist individuals and families in the enhancement of their emotional, mental and physical well-being, particularly those who have limited options for meeting their behavioral health needs. For more information, visit www.newvista.org.
Media Contact: Katie Ghiardi, PR Coordinator, 859.475.7028, [email protected]