The Helpline Center is celebrating the one year anniversary of 988, a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. 988 is available 24/7 to provide help and hope for people having thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.
988 launched on July 16, 2022, and since then more than 7, 500 people have called, texted, and chatted with 988 Mental Health Counselors. When South Dakotans call, text or chat 988, they are connected to trained crisis counselors at the Helpline Center who listen to concerns, provide support, connect to additional resources and provide follow up care.
A few highlights from the last year:
- 988 counselors have connected with a wide range of people from across the age spectrum from 12 years to 80 years and have talked with people from every county in the state.
- We’ve supported people struggling with deep grief, addictions and those in need of a comforting and listening ear, along with folks who are struggling to just get through the day.
- One of our callers recently said, “Thank you for being here to listen when it feels like nobody else would be”.
- We recently heard back from one of our callers through a friend that described the 988 service, “They are my angels. They saved my life and now I’m getting help. They really do care.”
In South Dakota, 988 is a partnership between the Helpline Center and the South Dakota Department of Social Services – Division of Behavioral Health. Both entities remain steadfast in our work to provide help and hope to individuals when it’s needed most. Please join us in sharing this important information about 988 and together we can continue to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction.