La. launches campaign to raise awareness about 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Health is launching a new campaign to raise awareness about the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
The new campaign is being launched during May, a month observed nationally as Mental Health Awareness Month.
Health officials said suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24. In Louisiana, 689 people died by suicide in the year 2021.
“Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to recommit to raising awareness about the importance of mental health in the lives of all Louisianans,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available to anyone in mental health distress. If you’re depressed, going through a hard time, thinking about suicide or just need to talk, 988 is for you. 988 is for all of us.”
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As part of the new campaign, the Louisiana Department of Health has launched a new online dashboard. The goal is to provide transparency on key metrics of crisis data from Louisiana’s two 988 crisis centers. The dashboard will be updated every month.
Health officials are also launching public service announcements on 75 radio stations across Louisiana to make people more aware of 988.
“Together, we can help to reduce the stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment and services. We can do so by starting the conversation. Talk about it. And, remember: It’s OK to not be OK,” said Karen Stubbs, assistant secretary of the LDH Office of Behavioral Health. “Your feelings are valid and you are not alone.”
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available around the clock for anyone suffering from mental stress or for anyone concerned about a loved one in mental distress. Crisis counselors are trained to help reduce the intensity of a situation for someone seeking help.
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