Better Mental Health Care Is Coming For Depression: 988 Is the New Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Number

Imagine yourself in the midst of a depressive episode. Everything seems hopeless and empty. You don’t know who to turn to for help, or if there is help. Your severe depression is overwhelming you and you’re beginning to have suicidal thoughts. You know you need help, you just don’t know where to begin. Thankfully, there is somebody you can call to begin, and that somebody is on the other end of the line at the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Maybe this situation isn’t all that hard to imagine. Maybe you struggle with a depressive disorder or other mental health disorder that brings you to a breaking point more often than not. You may have noticed that, while you know exactly who to call in case of an emergency, like a fire, a break-in, or an accident, you certainly don’t have any clear idea of what number to call for a mental health crisis. While you recognize policemen, firemen, and EMTs, looking for a uniformed mental health professional would, well, leave you searching. Thankfully, this may all be slowly changing for the better.

Photo of a woman sitting on a brick wall on a fall day looking into the distance. With the help of a depression therapist you can begin to manage your depression symptoms in a healthy way. Find extra support with depression counseling in Coconut Creek, FL.

Introducing 988

On July 16th, 2022, the United States federal government began phasing out the old Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number (800-273-8255) and introduced the new and far less clunky 988 number for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Not only does this make a resource for those struggling with mental health emergencies far easier to remember and use, but it’s also a great first step towards better mental health awareness and care for all of us. 

So what else can we do to spread awareness about the importance of mental health care?

Depression & Suicide Prevention

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 40% of adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With nearly half of the population struggling, perhaps one of the best things we can do is learn more about depressive symptoms and the warning signs of suicidal intentions. Many mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, and other mental disorders can lead to suicidal ideation. 

The following are warning signs for those who are at risk of suicide and/or may have untreated major depression:

  • Talking about wanting to die or being a burden to others
  • Feeling empty, hopeless, or without reason to live
  • Eating and sleeping too little or too much
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Feeling depressed, agitated, or extremely angry
  • Making plans or researching how to die
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and loved ones
  • Taking dangerous risks

From 988 Lifeline to Depression Counseling

In the midst of a mental health crisis, knowing where to turn for help can make all the difference. With the introduction of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number, the journey to seeking assistance for depressive episodes and suicidal thoughts has become more accessible and less daunting. This initiative represents a significant step forward in mental health awareness and care with depression counseling. By familiarizing ourselves with the warning signs of depression and suicide, we can better support ourselves and our loved ones during difficult times. Remember, reaching out for help is a brave and crucial first step toward healing. Whether it’s dialing 988 or seeking support from a mental health professional, know that there is hope and help available. You are not alone on this journey towards mental wellness.

Photo of a man wearing a red shirt. Do you depression symptoms keep you from being yourself? Learn how depression counseling in Coconut Creek, FL can help you manage your symptoms.

The Importance of Mental Health Care

With the ongoing advancements in mental health care and the increasing awareness surrounding depression and suicide prevention, we are witnessing a shift towards a more compassionate and supportive society. The implementation of the 988 Lifeline signifies not only a practical solution but also a symbolic commitment to prioritize mental health on a national level. However, the journey towards comprehensive mental health care doesn’t end with a hotline number change. It requires collective efforts to dismantle stigma, increase access to resources, and promote understanding and empathy.

Educating Yourself on Depression

One crucial aspect of this endeavor is education. By educating ourselves and others about the complexities of mental health, we can recognize the signs of distress in ourselves and those around us. Understanding that mental health conditions are legitimate medical issues, not personal weaknesses, is fundamental in fostering a culture of acceptance and support. Additionally, learning effective communication skills can empower individuals to reach out for help or provide assistance to those in need.

Enhancing Access to Mental Health Services

Moreover, enhancing access to mental health services is paramount. While the introduction of the 988 Lifeline streamlines the process of seeking immediate support, it’s essential to ensure that individuals have access to long-term care as well. This includes affordable therapy options, psychiatric treatment, and community support programs. Addressing systemic barriers such as insurance limitations, provider shortages, and socioeconomic disparities is crucial in making mental health care truly accessible to all.

Prioritizing Early Intervention and Prevention

Furthermore, we must prioritize early intervention and prevention strategies. By addressing mental health concerns proactively and providing support at the onset of symptoms, we can mitigate the risk of crises and promote overall well-being. This involves integrating mental health education into school curricula, implementing workplace wellness initiatives, and fostering supportive environments within families and communities.

Destigmatizing Conversations on Mental Health

Additionally, destigmatizing conversations surrounding mental health is essential. Openly discussing struggles with depression, anxiety, and other conditions helps break down barriers and encourages individuals to seek help without fear of judgment or discrimination. By normalizing discussions about mental health, we create a culture where seeking support is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness.

How 988 Will Help

In conclusion, while the introduction of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is a significant step forward in improving mental health care, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Achieving comprehensive mental health support requires ongoing efforts to educate, advocate, and prioritize mental well-being at individual, societal, and governmental levels. By working together to promote awareness, accessibility, and acceptance, we can create a future where everyone has the support they need to thrive mentally and emotionally.

If you or a loved one have experienced any of these symptoms, it’s time to reach out for help. Call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number and seek care from a mental health professional. I open my doors to anyone living in Florida who is struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, and/or addiction. There is hope, even if you may not feel hopeful at this moment in time. The best help you can give yourself is mental wellness, so take that step forward today and reach out.

Ready to Start Depression Counseling in Coconut Creek and Parkland, FL?

Find hope, healing, and a renewed sense of joy in life through depression counseling at Invigorate Counseling. Our experienced therapists are here to provide compassionate support and effective strategies to alleviate your depression symptoms. Take the first step towards reclaiming your happiness by scheduling a session with our dedicated team. Follow these three simple steps to get started:

  1.  Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to see if depression counseling is right for you
  2. Begin meeting with me, Lindsay Howard, a skilled depression therapist
  3. Start your journey to healing your depression symptoms!

Other Services Offered at Invigorate Counseling

At Invigorate Counseling, my goal is to help provide you with support in a safe space to help you manage your mental health needs. So, in addition to providing depression counseling at my Florida practice, I also offer Anxiety TherapyCognitive Behavioral Therapy, Grief Counseling, and Addiction Counseling. My services are offered for clients located in the state of Florida, specific to Parkland, Coconut CreekMiami and Miami BeachFort LauderdaleBoca RatonOrlandoTallahasseeand anywhere else in the state! For more about my practice, check out my FAQs and Blog!

Image of a woman sitting at a table in a cafe looking out the window thoughtfully. If you are struggling with the thought of suicide, discover how depression counseling in Parkland, FL can help you.
Photo of depression therapist Dr. Lindsay Howard in Coconut Creek and Parkland, FL. With the help of a skilled depression therapist you can begin to overcome your symptoms in a healthy way.

Dr. Lindsay Howard, Psychologist, Psy.D.

Hi! My name is Lindsay Howard, and I am a clinical psychologist specializing in depression therapy for those in Parkland, FL. All residents of Florida are welcome. Learn more about how I can help you thrive by clicking below, or feel free to schedule a free 15-minute consultation today.

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