988: America’s first three-digit mental health crisis line
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (Lifeline) was launched nationwide on 16 July. Similar to calling 911 for medical emergencies, people in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis can call or text 988 and be immediately connected to trained counselors who will listen, provide support and connect people to resources if needed. We want you to live well and work well August 2022.
The three-digit pairing code is new, but Lifeline is not. Formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, callers only reached the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). The easy-to-remember access code (988) is intended to replace that number; however, callers will still be connected to the same services, regardless of the number used. Lifeline provides services in both English and Spanish.
Since 2005, Lifeline has been a network of approximately 200 crisis centers funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Since its inception, Lifeline has received more than 20 million calls from people in need looking for help when they needed it most. Nearly 2.4 million calls occurred in 2020 alone, illustrating America’s current mental health crisis.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among preteens and adults ages 25 to 34, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lifeline is a direct link to compassionate, accessible care for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress, including suicidal thoughts, mental health or addiction crisis, or other emotional struggles. People can also call the Lifeline if they are worried about a loved one who may need emergency support.
Just as Americans know to call 911 in a medical emergency, it’s important to spread the word about 988 in your own state. This new three-digit area code can provide immediate support in someone’s darkest hour.
Safety tips to beat the heat
The summer heat can be more than unpleasant; it can threaten your health, especially for older adults and children. Hot and humid weather can make it more challenging for your body to cool down, leading to heat-related illnesses. Three types of such illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. If left untreated, they can become life-threatening.
Don’t let the summer heat get the best of you. Consider the following tips to prevent heat-related illness:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat light, refreshing food.
- Wear light, bright and loose fitting clothes.
- Apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Do chores or other outdoor activities in the morning or evening.
- Stay indoors as much as possible or take breaks from being outside.
Keeping these tips in mind means you’re on your way to beating the heat. Read more about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses below.
Are you up to date on your vaccinations?
August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month to promote the importance of immunizations at all stages of life. Vaccination protects against severe diseases and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases. Such diseases include measles, polio, hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis – and now covid-19.
Immunizations are so important that the CDC offers immunization schedules to help you understand if you or other loved ones are up to date on vaccinations:
Talk to your doctor for more information about vaccines or to learn more about which ones you may need.
Check out last month’s edition of Live Well Work Well – July 2022.
All of us here at CoverLink Wishing you continued health and safety this year!