Upstate Issues

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9-8-8 Mental Health Crisis Line Coming to the Capital Region

Someone reaching out for a life-ring

Photo: Digital Vision

Individuals and families who are dealing with mental health issues are about to have a new tool to help them when a crisis arises. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with Matthew Shapiro, Director of Public Affairs, National Alliance for Mental Health New York State about the new 9-8-8 Mental Health Crisis Line which will debut in June. Shapiro says not only will this bring comfort to people and families when they don’t know where to turn for help, the 9-8-8 Mental Health Crisis Line will also help to diffuse tense situations that have previously resulted in calls to 9-1-1 and a possible police response. Diane and Matt also discuss evolving attitudes about mental illness. Stigma around mental illness has decreased recently with many notable athletes publicly acknowledging their own struggles and how they found solutions. Still, there is a chronic shortage of mental health services, especially when it comes to treating children.

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