Message from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing:
This month the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and hundreds of other organizations across the country celebrated the first anniversary of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, a new dialing code operated through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. With the new, easy to remember number, the Lifeline successfully served millions more people than in years prior.
Yet we still have a long way to go to ensure that our crisis care system provides people in every community with someone to respond and somewhere to go.
Recently, Representative Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29) introduced the 988 Implementation Act, bipartisan legislation that seeks to provide federal funding and support for states to enact 988 crisis services and broaden awareness of resources for those in crisis.
What is the 988 Implementation Act?
- Expands behavioral health workforce training programs and provides grant opportunities for local behavioral health centers;
- Expands Medicaid coverage for behavioral health services, including short term crisis intervention services;
- Increases support for mobile crisis response, ensuring that even those in rural areas have access to timely care;
- Creates new capital grants to be used for crisis response program facility renovation, construction, and expansion;
- Narrows the IMD exclusion so that services furnished in psychiatric acute care crisis beds administered by CCBHCs and other crisis care settings are eligible for Medicaid coverage; and
- Increases awareness of 988 through a national media campaign.
Contact your Congressional Representatives and urge them to support the 988 Implementation Act. By strengthening, and raising awareness for current resources, and building capacity at the state level for on the ground crisis services, this legislation will make a difference, and save lives.
Time is of the essence. Act today, and together we can strengthen the crisis care continuum.
Federal Policy and Advocacy Coordinator
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing