988 Crisis Care

School District Reminds Students Families to Dial 988 for 24/7 Crisis Care
Posted on 12/22/2022
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With the winter break and more than 2 weeks away from school, friends, supports, social workers and counselors, the Carson City School District is reminding students and families that there is help at the touch of their fingertips. Back in July of this year, the U.S. transitioned the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to 988, an easy-to-remember, three-digit number for 24/7 mental health crisis care.

The move to the three-digit 988 phone number makes it easier to dial when emotions are running high. It also alleviates suicide-related calls to 911, redirecting the caller to a mental health professional who’s able to better assist them and their immediate needs.

“School district officials mainly want students to have immediate access to help during the year, especially when school is not in session,” said Michelle Cleveland, Project AWARE coordinator for the Carson City School District. “Crisis reveals itself in many ways. It could be someone who is experiencing anxiety or depression, who may have experienced trauma, has a sudden loss of living stability in their home, etc.”

There is a large misconception about suicide rates during the holidays. Many people believe that depression, anxiety and suicide increase during the winter holidays, but according to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, the rates drop during the winter months. Much of this myth is debunked because the holidays are a great time to stop and reflect back on what the year has been like, what individuals have accomplished, and what they may have left yet to do.

“Mental health needs and crisis events prevail throughout the year, not just during the holidays,” Cleveland continued. “We just want our students and families to know they can receive help even when they are away from school and their regular supports. More importantly, we don’t want to overlook things or spread a false sense that when the holidays are over everything will be ok. We know emotional crisis is the culmination of complex interactions among environmental, psychological, biological and social factors.”