New phone number in progress for the mental health crisis line

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The state is developing a new 3-digit crisis line designed to help people struggling with their mental health. Instead of dialing 911 for help, callers will be able to dial 988 to speak to someone trained in such situations.

Until then, you can continue to call the 11-digit crisis line at 1 (800) 715-4225, but there are other resources.

The new crisis line should be active in July, but there are other ways to get the help you need in a dangerous situation.

Debbie Richardson, spokesperson for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said if you call the police to help defuse a problem that started with someone’s mental health, they have trained staff to help you. .

These agents are called CIT agents. They follow 40 hours of training in crisis intervention.

Richardson said 50% of Albany Police Department personnel are CIT-trained.

She said they are equipped to identify people with mental health issues and defuse situations in which they are involved.

Debbie Richardson, representative of the National Alliance on Mental Illness(WALB)

“They learn mediation, de-escalation and after that, training. They have a better understanding of how mental health can sometimes affect behaviors,” Richardson said.

She says that because of all the trauma Albany has been through with the storms and the pandemic, mental health resources are especially important for children.

Adding that disasters lead to more anxiety and depression.

On Wednesday, the state capitol is raising awareness about mental health and resources to help. He is virtual and open to the public.

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