California will release 988, a new Mental Health Line like 911

It’s Monday. California is preparing to launch a new mental health hotline. In addition, gas prices are higher than ever.

Californians facing mental health crises can call for help soon by calling 988, a new service expected to improve access to psychiatric care as anxiety, depression and other disorder rates rise.

The phone, similar to 911, but instead for psychiatric emergencies, will be launched nationwide on July 16th. But in many countries, including California, the spread has come a long way.

In October 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed bipartisan legislation that would allow people to access the National Suicide Prevention Home, which has existed since 2005, by calling 988. (The current phone number is 800-273-8255).

The number that is easier to remember is expected to lead to an increase in the number of people seeking mental health care. But there is also concern that call centers will not have the infrastructure or staff to handle caller growth, and many of them may be in crisis.

This month, the RAND Corporation released the results of a survey that found that less than half of all public health officials across the nation were prepared for funding, staffing, and infrastructure. “Our findings have confirmed what many advocates and experts feared,” said Ryan McBain, a RAND policy researcher.

Last year, about 17 percent of existing phone calls were canceled before callers received help, according to a recent New York Times analysis. In California, that figure was between 10 and 15 percent, the analysis found.

“We know it will take time to build a system that was really scarce and relatively fragmented,” Steve told my colleague. Eder.

In December, the Biden administration announced a $ 284 million infusion to renovate infrastructure nationwide and strengthen call centers. In California, officials promised $ 20 million more to 13 public and private call centers that answer phone calls, “so we can get to know where Californians are and expand resources and support in these difficult times,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. statement.

The state budget proposal for next year, which is expected to be approved by Parliament this week, includes another $ 8 million to help call centers expand 988. But some advocates say funding is not enough.

The federal law that created 988 allowed state lawmakers to raise money for call centers and other mental health services by charging a monthly fee on phone bills, but only four states have passed that legislation.

In California, it would create an AB 988 phone surcharge, which would limit $ 0.30 per month online, said board member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, the bill’s author. The tax would eventually bring in $ 194 million a year, which would help call centers keep staff and help pay for mobile crisis groups to answer callers, he said.

“Like 911, 988 will be a timeless system that is accessible to people in mental health crisis,” he told me. “Like our 911 system, it needs consistent ongoing funding.”

12 to drink roses now or at any time of the year.


Today’s advice comes from Anastasia Schmoll, who recommends Hosp Grove Trails near San Diego:

“Hosp Grove is a path full of eucalyptus trees in Carlsbad, where we walk our dogs. Eucalyptus is a natural detergent for fleas. We have lived in Carlsbad for 30 years, enjoying the strong, beautiful smell of the trees, the friendliness of the trees, the friendship with the community and the ease with which we can take a wonderful break in nature.

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Send your suggestions to [email protected] We will share more in future editions of the newsletter.


Summer is here. What’s your favorite part of the season in California?

Email [email protected] with your stories, memories or recommendations.


If you haven’t done so already, this summer may be a chance to see iconic portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama’s presidency.

Paintings presented at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in 2018 will be on display at the San Francisco de Young Museum starting Saturday.

The artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, were the first African-American painters to be commissioned to make official portraits of a president or first lady at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The works will be on display at Young until August 14.


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Soumia

PS Here it is today’s Mini Crosswordand a clue: Furry foot (3 letters).

Briana Scalia, Mariel Wamsley and Jaevon Williams contributed to California Today. You can join the group [email protected].

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