Staffing shortages cause 988 call center concerns
(ABC 6 News) – The 988 suicide hotline launched this summer, but with the uptick of calls coming through, there are concerns about staffing shortages at call centers.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is asking for the community’s help and donations to make sure there are enough resources, so anyone who dials the line has someone to talk to.
“I do think ultimately it’s a good sign that there’s been an uptick in calls,” executive director of NAMI SE MN Mathew Bjorngaards said. “the whole purpose of 988 is to have an easier way for people to reach out and get resources.
“So it doesn’t surprise me that we’re seeing an increase.”
While the uptick is a positive step in the right direction, it has been an adjustment. Some NAMI employees saying that there are still some psychologists and psychiatrists in town, still getting calls from 911.
“the issue that we are having is having enough resources so that everyone in a mental health crisis has someone to talk to, someone to respond and somewhere to go,” “I do think ultimately it’s a good sign that there’s been an uptick in calls,” executive director of NAMI SE MN Mathew Bjorngaards said. “… so that’s really the next stepping stone is having enough of the recourses.”
During the last legislative session, Minnesota lawmakers were pushing for millions of dollars towards mental health help. Unfortunately, lawmakers adjourned the meeting without passing passing several bills.
Which is why NAMI continues to host fundraisers throughout the year.
On Saturday (09/24/2022) NAMI will be hosting a its annual NAMI Walks Your Way fundraiser. Every dollar raised will get to stay and help clinics and patients in south east Minnesota.