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National Suicide Prevention Month continues with 988 as new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -National Suicide Prevention Month is wrapping up with a reminder about a new resource available.

Mental health experts say if there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that social isolation and loneliness can be detrimental.

“Nobody should have to suffer silently or feel alone ever,” said SB County Department of Behavioral Wellness Suzanne Grimmesey.

A new emergency line aims to help.

Instead of calling 9-1-1 when you’re experiencing an emergency, you can now call 9-8-8 if you are a loved one is experiencing a mental health emergency.

Mental health experts are thankful that this simplifies the process of reaching out for help.

“When you're stressed or concerned or acting out, trying to help somebody in crisis. Having to look up a ten digit number is not helpful,” said Mental Wellness Center CEO Annemarie Cameron.

Suicide currently ranks as the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-34.

Experts say the pandemic didn’t seem to make things better.

“It affected people's finances, housing, connections with others, school, new stressors in the home that kids were exposed to. So it affected our mental health. Without question,” said Grimessey.

Mental health expert Suzanne Grimmesey said the pandemic did one good thing for mental health —by helping to destigmatize conversations centered around mental wellbeing.

“Our role is to increase awareness, to talk about mental health issues, to be there, to listen and pay attention to those around us, and to help get people connected to resources,” said Grimmesey.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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