The new mental health hotline is a key step, but it must be properly funded.
Posted on Jan 10 2022
Philadelphia Inquirer

In an opinion piece, NAMI CEO Daniel Gillison wrote: The pandemic has hit people hard — especially their mental health. As the CEO of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, I know that we have to act urgently to avoid traumatic outcomes. Our failure to treat mental health crises leads to people cycling in and out of jails and emergency rooms, homelessness — or worse. The launch in July of 988, a new crisis hotline number, gives us a chance to put services into place that can help, but we have to act now. The NAMI HelpLine has experienced a 185% increase in calls related to suicide and a 251% increase in calls related to mental health crises compared with pre-pandemic times. After 20 months of COVID-19, there's never been a more critical time to invest in a new crisis response system.

'988' nationwide mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline to launch in 2022
Posted on Jan 06 2022
WTSP 10 Tampa Bay: FL

By July 16, 2022, there will be a nationwide hotline to help with mental health crises and suicide prevention. “Once fully implemented, 988 will save lives and is a critical component to ensuring people in crisis are diverted from involvement in the criminal justice system and connected to appropriate services and supports,” said NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.

Preventing the next school tragedy with programs to combat mental health issues
Posted on Jan 03 2022
Gray TV Syndicated

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports one in six U.S. youth, ages 6-17, experience a mental health disorder every year. NAMI claims half of those conditions start by age 14 with behavior problems, anxiety, and depression among the issues most commonly diagnosed. NAMI added only around half of students with mental health conditions actually received treatment in the past year. “Go to the pediatrician as the first place to start in order to get [kids] that mental health care that they need,” said Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director for NAMI, who urged parents to watch for signs that their child is irritable or withdrawn. “Talk to your child about what’s going on, instead of just assuming that it’s normal teenage behavior or normal young people behavior,” she said. Crawford emphasized school districts are key in providing early identification and prevention as the pandemic presents new challenges for children who may feel isolated or anxious.