Crisis Lifeline

For students especially, juggling school work, jobs, extracurricular activities, family, friends and more, can result in the need for help, or even a mental health crisis.
A new number, 988, was unveiled in July a suicide and crisis lifeline. Calls to 988 will be routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Andy Tate is the supervisor of the Crisis Call Center in southwest Missouri.
“988 is part of the national suicide prevention lifeline, which is a national service for people having a suicidal ideations,” Tate said.
The 988 number is just a shortened version of the older number — 1-800-272-talk. They are both available to text, call or chat at any time.
Nancy Doubrava is a trained mental health professional and the sophomore counselor at Nixa High School.
“Anytime anyone is in crisis — it’s for any age so it’s something we want to ingrain in everyone from students, to teachers, to administrators. It’s a new number that we need to be fully aware of like 911,” Doubrava said.
However while 988 and 911 might sound similar, they are not the same. The 911 numbers is purely for emergencies and should be used in different situations than 988.
It is strongly recommended that if at school, a counselor is contacted first in an attempt to help before dialing 988. Counselors at NHS have resources and training that makes them able to help students or adults.
While Tate finds his job stressful at times, he feels that the impact he has on the community is worth it.
“I do enjoy my job, it can be stressful, it’s a high pressure job that is life or death but at the end of the day we do help people,” Tate said. “We help a lot of people and it makes it worthwhile.’’
The professionals on the other end of the line are trained to help a person going through a crisis.
“First, we will decide what’s going on. Are they actively suicidal, are they having passive thoughts, do they have a plan, do they have intent, do they have means and how can we help them the best? Do we need to just listen and work on our coping skills or do we actually need to get them to a hospital,” Tate said.
Most times it can be helpful just to talk to a random person and have them listen and actually hear what is being said. People often feel as though they are not being heard, however now 988 can give you someone to hear you and maybe even give advice if needed.
“People go through things and instead of making decisions that can alter their lives and others forever, just talk it through with somebody,” Tate said.