Suicide Prevention Month, 988 Lifeline Sees Increased Success

By on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

EASTERN OREGON – (Resources forwarded by The Center for Human Development) Mental health can be a difficult subject to address. The needs and stressors weighing on any one person may be diverse, not easily identifiable and, in extreme cases, can push someone to questioning the value of their own life. Shortcomings in treatment options combined with the isolation brought on by Covid only exacerbate the mental health crisis. Fortunately, options are still available. September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Now is a time to explore mental health resources and support opportunities, both to take care of ourselves and support those in need. 

A critical option freely available to all in need is the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dialing, online chatting or texting will connect anyone with a qualified crisis counselor. According to a recent data release by the HHS, the line has seen upwards of a 45 percent increase in the volume of contacts and a general improvement in wait times compared to august 2021. Specifically for August 2022, according to the released information, 988 had a total of 361,140 routed contacts between calls, chats and texts. Of these, 318,048 (88%) were answered and 43,092 (12%) were abandoned before connecting to a counselor. Average answer speed was 42 seconds and average contact time was 18 minutes and 49 seconds. 

Effective mental health crisis response doesn’t have to be inaccessible or restricted to pre-arranged visits. Again, for those who are struggling with mental health, depression or suicidal thoughts, or know someone who is, 988 provides round the clock crisis counselling and support. Simply call or text 988 or online chat at Lifeline (

The full August details can be found at National Recovery Month 2022 – National Council for Mental Wellbeing (

Additional information on the current and future plans of 988 can be found at HHS Secretary: 988 Transition Moves Us Closer to Better Serving the Crisis Care Needs of People Across America | SAMHSA

For anyone still struggling with mental health and or for those curious what they can do to help, ample resources are available. The Center for Human Development, in support of National Suicide Prevention Month, has provided a collection of studies and support options. These sources were originally compiled by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and are as follows:

NCMW Sources

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This month, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are sharing resources on how to prevent suicide, change the conversation surrounding suicide, and promote healing and hope. Further, SAMHSA is awarding over $25 million in grant funds to support various suicide prevention programs. For more information and resources on suicide prevention, click here

Study Examines the OUD Treatment Gap

In a recent study, researchers found that between 2010 and 2019, 87% of people with opioid use disorder (OUD) did not receive evidence-based treatment. While the use of medications to treat OUD have risen in all states in the past decade, researchers found that the treatment gap for OUD still remains prevalent. Notably, the increased accessibility of buprenorphine has helped expand access to medication for OUD. However, researchers concluded that despite the steady increase in the ability for individuals to receive medication for OUD, the pace of individuals receiving treatment has not been able to keep up with the consistently high levels of OUD and overdose rates.

SAMHSA Publishes Guide on Addressing Workforce Burnout

This month, SAMHSA published a resource guide highlighting organizational strategies to address burnout among the mental health and substance use disorder workforce. These proposed interventions rely on team-based, data-driven, organization specific, and well supported elements to promote success. Guidance on how to implement organization-level strategies is also included, specifying the planning, implementation, and sustainability strategies that organizations may use to prevent and reduce burnout specific to their mental health and substance use providers.

Citizen Advocate Webinar: How to Remedy “Advocacy Apathy” 

Join the Congressional Management Foundation in their webinar on the importance of advocacy and how to motivate advocates. This presentation will provide advocates and advocacy leaders with tools and strategies for overcoming apathy. It will offer information from CMF research to convince you that your voice makes a difference and provide motivational tools to turn citizen-slouches into citizen-SUPER-advocates! The webinar will take place on September 20, 2022, 03:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Register today!

Recovery Month Webinar Highlights Health Equity Challenges

SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity will hold a Recovery Month webinar discussing the mental health and substance use disorder needs of individuals living in marginalized communities. The presentation will include discussions on access and barriers to equitable recovery, treatment, and support in addition to steps moving forward. The webinar will take place Thursday, September 22, 2022, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET. Click here to join (passcode: 393593)!