Johnson County adds four positions to 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

A woman talks on the phone while sitting at a desk

Johnson County Mental Health Center is adding four full-time Crisis Call Specialist positions to answer the Johnson County Crisis Line and 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Johnson County Board of County Commissioners authorized JCMHC’s request today, June 23.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will transition from 1-800-573-TALK to 988 on July 16. Like 911, the goal of 988 is to provide a simple number that will make interventions and resources more accessible to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

“Adding these four new positions is a critical step in building our 988 Crisis Team as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitions to 988,” said Tim DeWeese, Johnson County Mental Health Center Director. “The easy-to-remember 988 number will make crisis assistance resources more accessible and save lives around the country.”

The Crisis Call Specialist positions will provide telephone-based crisis intervention services, which could include supportive counseling, safety and suicide screenings and referrals to community resources. The positions are funded through a Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) grant. No county tax support is requested or required.

The Crisis Call Specialist positions will grow JCMHC’s 988 Crisis Team, which the department has been building as it works through the transition to 988.

JCMHC provides 24/7 coverage to Johnson County residents and area codes through the Johnson County Crisis Line – (913) 268-0156 – and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

JCMHC has seen a significant increase in crisis calls and contacts over the past several years, especially during the pandemic, and anticipates numbers will continue to increase in the coming months and years through the transition to 988.

Mental Health
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