BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) On July 16, everyone will have access to mental health and substance abuse help by dialing just three digits: 9-8-8.
Mental health advocate, Tonja Miles, said trained counselors and response teams will be available 24/7.
They will listen to the caller’s problems, assess their needs and provide support by connecting them with local resources, and counselors could even go to someone’s home, as well as law enforcement.
Advocates hope the new number will decriminalize mental health.
One in four deadly police shootings between 2015 and 2020 involved someone with mental illness, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health. One in 10 people who experience mental health and substance abuse emergencies engage with law enforcement before receiving care.
Miles calls 988 a game changer.