ROANOKE, Va. – It has been six months since the nationwide launch of 988. The three-digit number replaced the previous number for the suicide hotline.
Frontier Health, one of the call centers servicing Southwest Virginia, received double the volume of calls when the system first launched. Six months later and that volume is still 50% to 75% of what it was before the launch.
They have taken time to work out kinks in the call service, and feel they are running efficiently.
Call agents are now receiving calls that represent a higher level of need.
“We’re seeing people that are calling that are having a higher level of need. We’re still able to resolve most of the calls over the phone, but we are spending a little more time with callers than we were previously. That’s what we’re hearing from all of our call agents,” Vice President of Specialty Services at Frontier Health Sherri Feathers said.
Frontier Health is only one of two call centers servicing Southwest Virginia, but they say they have been able to take the majority of calls, with the others rolling to the other call center.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988 or chat with someone by clicking here.