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01/25/2021 | Vibrant Emotional Health Provides Ohio with 988 State Planning Grant

For Immediate Release: January 25, 2021 Contact: Eric Wandersleben c: 614-359-6754

Vibrant Emotional Health Provides Ohio with 988 State Planning Grant

Vibrant Emotional Health Provides Ohio with 988 State Planning Grant Grant Monies Will Be Used to Prepare Ohio for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 Calling Code, Effective July 2022

(COLUMBUS – Jan. 25, 2021) The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) announced today that it has received a $360,000 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 State Planning Grant through Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline). Through the grant, OhioMHAS will lead the development of strategic plans for Ohio in preparation for the projected infrastructure needs, volume growth, and access to the Lifeline’s new 988 number. Vibrant has awarded grants to 49 states and territories.

In July 2022, 988 will become the national three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Americans needing support should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until then.

“Access to mental health and crisis support has never been more critical for Americans,” said Kimberly Williams, President and CEO of Vibrant Emotional Health. “Vibrant is committed to providing the states and territories with some of the resources they'll need to plan for the implementation of 988 and to support their local crisis centers. By working together, we will increase access to care, reduce the stigma around mental health and, ultimately, save lives.”

Alongside a team of suicide prevention and crisis care providers from throughout the state, OhioMHAS will develop clear roadmaps to address coordination, capacity, funding, and communications surrounding the launch of 988. OhioMHAS will collaborate with state leadership, suicide prevention experts, persons with lived experience, and others to create a 988-implementation plan and support the Lifeline’s operational, clinical, and performance standards that allow access to care.

“988 is a needed next step as we build Ohio’s crisis system to help every person and family struggling with mental illness, addiction, suicide, or overdose,“ said OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss. “This service will make it easier than ever before for Ohioans to reach out in times of crisis to get connected to the care they need. This number will save lives.”

Vibrant believes the new 988 number, once implemented, will ensure the Lifeline will continue to be America’s mental health safety net by providing emotional support for people in distress, reducing suicides and mental health crises, and providing a pathway to well-being for all.

About the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a leader in suicide prevention and mental health crisis care. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support and crisis counseling to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 180 local crisis centers, uniting local resources with national best practices. Since its inception in 2005, the Lifeline has engaged in innovative public messaging, development of best practices in mental health, creative partnerships, and more to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention for all. For more info suicidepreventionlifeline.org

About Vibrant Emotional Health

Vibrant Emotional Health is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and families achieve emotional wellbeing. For over 50 years, our groundbreaking solutions have delivered high-quality services and support, when, where and how people need it. We offer confidential emotional support through our state-of-the-art contact center and crisis hotline services that use leading edge telephone, text and web-based technologies and include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, NFL Life Line and NYC Well. Through our community wellness programs individuals and families obtain supports and skills they need to thrive. Our advocacy and education initiatives promote mental wellbeing as a social responsibility. Each year we help more than 2.5 million people live healthier and more vibrant lives. We’re advancing access, dignity and respect for all and revolutionizing the system for good. Visit vibrant.org. And follow Vibrant on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About OhioMHAS

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is a cabinet-level state agency that oversees Ohio’s statewide network of publicly funded mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery support services. As part of its core mission, the Department provides leadership, strategic planning and funding support to help reduce and prevent suicide deaths in Ohio. Visit Suicide Prevention | Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ohio.gov) to learn more about Ohio’s efforts to prevent suicide and https://www.ohiospf.org/download/suicide-preventionreport/ to read The Suicide Prevention Plan for Ohio 2020-2022.