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I knew there was a National Suicide Prevention Hotline, but I had no clue there was going to be a new three-digit 988 emergency call number until you sent me that article about it. Why isn’t it in the mainstream? They need to start promoting it!


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First of all, it is called a “lifeline,” not a “hotline.” And, I know I am being literal, but we need to get over the stigma associated with mental health issues or experiencing an emotional crisis. If someone was drowning, would there be a stigma about throwing them a lifeline? Of course not. It would be expected.


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Good point. And I think they should use celebrities to promote the new “988” number. Especially as more and more celebrities use their fame and public platforms to shed light on mental health issues, it makes “mere mortals” realize they’re not alone. And feel more comfortable admitting their own struggles and, more importantly, seeking help.


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I hope the decision to change the name to Suicide & Crisis Lifeline will let people know there are trained counselors to help them with an assortment of issues, not only suicide.

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Whenever I hear about the increasing number of deaths by suicide, especially by younger people, it breaks my heart. And when I read about mass killings, I can’t help but wonder if they couldn’t have been prevented if we had better mental health care.

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Do not get me on that soapbox. But, this is a step in the right direction. Although, I am concerned whether the crisis centers are prepared for the potential volume of calls. I know there is over $400 million in federal funding to expand the system. However, the technology to automatically forward a 988 call to a nationwide support network is easy; being ready for the influx of calls and range of issues is entirely different.

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No kidding. I bet the current system saw a huge increase during the pandemic, and that was having to use a 10-digit number. But I’ll say they did a good job publicizing that number.

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I know you do not want the numbers, but the current 10-digit number (which still works) received 3.6 million calls, chats, and texts in 2011, and more than 20 million calls on behalf of people calling for themselves or others since it was launched in 2005. But, it is critical to remember those “numbers” represent people, and have a ripple effect.

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Then I can only imagine the impact of this change to 988. It could be huge!

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That is the plan. The transition to a simplified three-digit number is meant to increase access. Similar to 911, but more specifically targeted. And, hopefully, widely used.

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So, what can we do to get the word out?

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Hope people share this post …

P.S. – Want to help? Understanding the issues concerning mental health and suicide is an important way to help people in crisis, and to change the conversations around mental health. So, please take a moment to see how!

Black of Red & Black

Although I am known for speaking my mind, I have never been one to publicize my passion projects. I get involved because I believe in what I am doing – not because I want others to know of my involvement. Decades ago, it was Make-A-Wish, but once we started Red & Black and detoured into the worlds of education and criminal justice, I added new projects. And “soapboxes”.

And, I saw how education and criminal justice were intertwined. Which is what compelled me to write a letter when the Texas Legislature held a hearing about a house bill related to programming within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and invitedpublic comment. It was the first time I ever went “on the record” (comments are in the public domain), but I feel very strongly about the topic, and specifically the lack of women’s educational programming.

When I sent a copy of my letter to Red, the self-proclaimed mere mortal, she was adamant (not a typical trait for her) that my words needed a wider audience than the legislators and people who follow legislative bills …

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I’ve finally started watching “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Have you watched it?


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No, but I have read about the premise behind the book and the series because after Roe v. Wade was overturned, social media started comparing the series to what was happening in real life, with women having no control over their reproductive rights.


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The similarities are even scarier. It takes place in the near-future after the U.S. government (including the Constitution) has been overthrown, and the new republic’s controlled by a ruling class of men. Men who are religious extremists and enforce their religious beliefs on everyone.


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Well, there goes separation of church and state. But, I guess that is much more efficient than starting with Justices of the Supreme Court who vote based on their religious beliefs, and then proceeding from there.


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That’s NOT funny. In the show, they use religion as an “excuse” for horrible acts against people. For example, women aren’t allowed to read; and if caught, they cut off a finger so everyone knows their “crime”.
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Thanks for the accounting of your garage sale. But, given how many hours you spent preparing for it, and then the actual sale itself, did you calculate how much you “earned” on a $/hour basis?


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No, all I know is that it seemed to take forever to go through everything in Mom’s house and decide what to keep, what to sell, what to donate. And what to trash. As far as the garage sale, I’ll give you your half the next time I see you.


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Keep my half. You did all the work. I did not even offer to help.


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And that was a big help. Thank you.
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