Lawmakers Work to Maintain 988 Suicide Hotline

Our state lawmakers in Cheyenne are working on funding to maintain the 988 suicide hotline. Our William Langston spoke with the Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse centers about the importance of keeping the hotline open.

Wyoming has one of the highest rates of suicide in the United States. And experts say one of the greatest resources for suicide prevention is the 988 24 hour suicide prevention hotline. That’s why there’s an effort here in the state to make sure those call centers have adequate funding.

Andi Summerville is the executive director for the Wyoming Association for Mental Health and Susbstance Abuse centers, she spoke to Your Wyoming Link today about the importance of local funding for the 988 24/7 hotline.

“It’s incredibly important that we have that service translated up and functioning locally here in Wyoming. And I think that’s an important distinction.”

Andi explained that in the past Wyoming has seen budget cuts hit the mental health sectors of the state.

“Several times over the last 10, 15 years, they’ve taken pretty decent reductions in funding. The concern is, if that happens again, would we be able to keep our 988 call centers up operational?”

Andi hopes that a decision is made here in Wyoming to make sure the funds are secure.

“Whether it’s through a trust fund or there was another amendment that failed to put $6 million in an account to kind of get us started I think that those are both ways to go about that. And it’s a we feel it’s incredibly important that the legislature focus on that and come out of the session with a way to fund 988.”

Some people here in Cheyenne think any money spent on suicide prevention is money well spent

“I’ve had family members who have had mental health issues and they need some kind of resource to help them get through whatever they’re going through.”

Remember that if you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide that 988 phone number can be reached 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

William Langston Your Wyoming Link Cheyenne.