Addressing Our Nation's Mental Health Crisis: Help is Available 24/7

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Almost 20% of U.S. adults are experiencing a mental illness, which is defined as having a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. In July 2022, the U.S. government launched a new way to reach immediate help for people experiencing a mental health crisis. They can either call or text 9-8-8 and be connected to a trained mental health professional.

This new, three-digit number is designed to be memorable and an easier way for people to call for help when facing a crisis. Callers will be routed to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (previously called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). The trained counselors will listen, provide support and connect the individual to necessary resources. This also allows for accessible care everywhere in the U.S. The previous National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-TALK) will remain active as well.

Mental health is a priority and providing immediate crisis care is essential for patients, communities and ourselves. We recognize the link between mental health and cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction and stress induced cardiomyopathy. The ACC also recognizes the importance of health care workers' well-being. (More resources are available on ACC's Clinician Well-Being Portal).

We encourage all ACC members to strive towards optimal well-being, including mental health. If you feel you may need help, please call 9-8-8 for immediate, confidential support.

This article was authored by Laxmi Mehta, MD, FACC, chair of ACC's Clinician Well-Being Work Group, and chief well-being liaison and faculty director of Gabby Health and Wellness Center at The Ohio State University Medical Center; and Joseph Marine, MD, MBA, FACC, chair of ACC's Membership Committee and electrophysiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Clinical Topics: Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Prevention, Hypertension

Keywords: Mental Health, Mental Health Services, Suicide, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiomyopathies, Mental Disorders, Hypertension

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