Looking Forward in Hope, Partnership, and Gratitude
Hopeful. In a word, that is how South Carolinians can feel as the first year of operation for SC’s 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline comes to a close. At the time of 988’s nationwide launch last year on July 16, 2022, our state had only one call center, operated by Mental Health America of Greenville County (MHAGC) and located in the Upstate. MHAGC had been answering calls from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network since 2007, but with the advent of the new three-digit number for suicide and mental health crises, saw a sharp uptick in calls, chats, and texts. In this first year of operation in SC, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, working around the clock, responded to more than 34,000 calls, chats, and texts. And yet, demand remained higher than capacity.
MHAGC and SCDMH extend thanks to the state General Assembly for $3,000,000 in financial support. Together, our two call centers can use these resources to reduce stigma associated with mental health crisis, save lives, and increase access to care. As calls, chats, and texts continue to increase, South Carolinians can call 988 with the confidence that more neighbors are available to respond. Working together, our call centers will answer the heightened call for hope.