Federal Crisis Hotline Sees 891% Increase in Calls

The country is facing a mental health crisis

crisis helpline
Help is available 24/7.

Hey everyone, how are we all doing? Ah yes, not well — and it shows! As people around the world grapple with unemployment, grief, health concerns, financial woes and the general terror of living through a global crisis, helplines are reporting a massive increase in callers seeking emergency counseling.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, a federal crisis hotline run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, saw an 891 percent spike in calls for the month of March compared to the same month a year ago, as well as 338 percent increase since February of this year, CNN reported.

Launched in 2012, the Disaster Distress Helpline is a free resource offering mental-health counseling for those in emotional distress in times of disaster, including hurricanes, mass shootings, wildfires, and now the coronavirus pandemic and its widespread reverberations. As the pandemic and its fallout rapidly upend just about every aspect of American life, the country faces a growing mental health crisis in addition to the dire health and financial crises already ravaging the nation.

Federal officials have reportedly warned the White House about the growing mental health crisis in the country, expressing fears that agencies are not adequately prepared to handle the mounting need for mental health care, ABC News reported.

“You’re going to have massive depression,” Donald Trump said in a recent press briefing, adding that the country should expect “massive drug use, massive depression, mental depression, massive numbers of suicide.”

The Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year. The helpline is open to anyone, and callers may remain anonymous and call for themselves or on behalf of someone else. Those in need can call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746, to be connected to a trained counselor.

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