Vermont adopts 9-8-8 phone number for mental health support and crisis

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Media Contacts
Alexander Raeburn, Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Department of Mental Health
alexander.raeburn@vermont.gov
802-904-3043

Rebecca Kelley, Communications Director
Office of the Governor
rebecca.kelley@vermont.gov

Waterbury, Vt. – Starting July 16, Vermont is launching the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Callers will be immediately connected to compassionate, caring counselors who are trained to provide support for individuals experiencing everything from emotional distress to a mental health crisis. While they are trained to treat and address suicidality, it is not only for those individuals in crisis.

The 9-8-8 Lifeline is also not only for those experiencing challenges with their own mental health. If you are the family member, loved one or friend of someone whom you believe might need help, counselors are trained and ready to answer your call.

Beginning July 16, people can access the Lifeline by calling 9-8-8. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.

The Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH) has been working since 2019 with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Vibrant Emotional Health to build and bolster in-state Lifeline call centers in preparation for the transition to 9-8-8.

“When we started this process over two years ago, Vermonters who called the Lifeline were routed to call centers in nearby states,” said DMH Deputy Commissioner Alison Krompf, the department’s statewide lead on suicide prevention. “Now we have Vermonters who are trained and ready to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These are caring professionals who want to help.”
The Veterans Crisis Line remains available by calling 9-8-8 and pressing 1. Callers who speak Spanish can press 2, and the national system provides interpretation services for over 150 additional languages.

“We have a strong system of care with many supports available,” said DMH Commissioner Emily Hawes. “The transition to 9-8-8 is another step forward in the path to providing accessible, low barrier supports for all Vermonters who need help.”

Vermonters can also text “VT” to 741741 to get help and dial or text 833-888-2557 to connect with peer support through Pathways Vermont.

These services were detailed at Governor Scott’s press conference on Tuesday, where state officials and a mental health provider discussed the impacts of the pandemic and world events on the mental health and well-being of Vermonters. Governor Scott said, “What I hope Vermonters take away from this discussion is: It’s okay to not feel okay. Because you’re not alone, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of in getting some help or just taking some time to care for yourself. I also want people to know there is still a lot of good out there, and there is always reason for hope.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ahovsoyan
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2 thoughts on “Vermont adopts 9-8-8 phone number for mental health support and crisis

  1. I read a stat a week or so ago what said teen-suicide was unheard of in the 60s. Could suicide be connected to the source ideas that education is based on? Are we courageous enough to challenge the worldview being pressed into children via the state-controlled education system.

  2. Rebuild Your Family.
    Just forget whatever it was that caused the issues and find comfort in those that share your own blood. THIS is what matters right now.
    Your family is supposed to be your First Responders.
    BUT we have such broken families now- and this is no accident.. it’s weakened us, don’t let this happen. Fix this, solve this, and enjoy the results.
    There is tremendous strength that comes from unification, start this with your own family.

    Please. Do what you need to do, give up the “stuff” and do whatever you need to do to rebuild a family, create a family, even if it’s a community of people you like around you.

    Make time to enjoy yourself.. live however you need to live to make time to smell the roses and enjoy your life and family. DO NOT Play The Game of Consumerism and signing up to be enslaved by debt.. this takes you from your life and your family. This steals your freedom, THIS is why we are here. Learn this lesson and don’t go there.
    Freedom is not owing anyone a damned thing,, make this real in your life.

    Build any kind of support system from doing things you enjoy *with people*, not online, go feel the warmth of a human being again.

    Go to Church.
    You’ll be stunned that God does hear you, he forgives, he gives strength, just going to church when you need to can break bad thought patterns- this can be a life saver. It’s taking one step forward one service at a time.

    Reach Out and ask for help from good people around you.. and then you won’t need these hotlines.
    God helps those that help themselves is a very true thing.

    New Englanders are tough as nails and we will get through this- because we always do.
    We’re all here still aren’t we?

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