On July 16, 2022, the FCC implemented the 988 number to provide direct access to a national network of more than 200 crisis centers.
It helps thousands of people overcome crisis situations every day.
CEO of Helping Hands Ministry Miranda Morley says, “We don’t speak of struggles. We hide them and that was the worst thing we could have ever done. It ended up on my birthday, my son had…he almost died. We almost lost him.”
Miranda Morley says she felt helpless when her son was struggling with PTSD and substance abuse.
“You don’t know what to say, you don’t know what to do. You don’t know what to ask. There’s just so much fear. You don’t know if you’re going to lose them if this going to be the time where there are going to be able to commit to sobriety.
Longleaf Hospital became a haven for her and her son as he enrolled into the F.L.A.G.S program.
“Luckily, I am very blessed that my son took his sobriety very seriously. In October, we get to celebrate 4 years of sobriety. Every year I get to celebrate my birthday with really my son.”
Miranda met Claire Hick, CEO of Longleaf Hospital, who supported her through the process.
Claire Hick and her staff are dedicated to helping patients at Longleaf Hospital.
She urges people to use the 988 number as a tool to find the right resources.
“988, you can text, and you can just say, I need to speak to someone and I think I need help and they’ll find you, give you a call, talk it through, and see what the next steps will be to be able to get the help that that person needs.”
Claire says the 988 number is an easy number anyone can learn.
“But what we don’t teach our children is about mental health, which is a disease that is invisible to many people so that’s what is really great about this new 988 number. It’s an easy number to remember, teach your children, teach your friends, teach your family.”
She says texting the 988 number can save your loved one’s life.
President of the Jason Foundation Clark Flatt says, “We’re in a society where you think you can take a pill and it goes away or I can see a doctor one time and it’s done and it goes and mental health issues, many times, it’s a tough difficult task to address it and stay on target with it.
Clark’s youngest son took his life on July 16, 1997.
Unfortunately, Clark Flatt’s son Jason did not have access to a cell phone in the 90s.
“Jason was actually your poster kid for the number one person we’re losing in our nation today. It’s usually the better than average student, the person who would look as a leader in their class or their school, a person who has a lot of friends, a person who if you looked at them, their future seems all so bright.”
His death motivated Clark to start the Jason Foundation.
“I feel like it’s a way that I’ve paid back. This thing we call a silent epidemic, you took the wrong kid, you took my son and I’m going to take every other person I can away from you.”
988 is a direct line to compassionate, accessible care for those who need it.
It provides 24/7, confidential support to help people become suicide survivors.
For more information to learn how to recognize the warning signs, go to jasonfoundation.com.