Virginia sees 50% increase in people using 988 during crisis hotline’s first year

Officials say they answer 5,000 to 7,000 calls from Virginians every month

ROANOKE, Va. – This week marks one year since the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline adopted the new number, 988.

Since its origin, experts in Virginia and across the country say the number of people calling the hotline has increased significantly.

Frontier Health, one of the two call centers serving Southwest Virginia says the Commonwealth, has seen a 50% increase in calls since the new number went into effect.

After struggling with staffing the hotline, Frontier Health says they feel they now have the right number of staff to respond to the hotline’s demand.

“Overall, we are seeing for the state of Virginia five to seven-thousand calls a month, so lots of people are reaching out,” said Frontier Health’s Senior VP of Specialty Services, Sherri Feathers.

The hotline connects people to a trained counselor and other services to help after the original call is over.

Users can call, text or chat online using 988.

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