New Hotline Increases Access to Mental Health Support

By National Employee Benefits Practice

New Hotline Increases Access to Mental Health Support

In the 2022 Risk Strategies State of the Market report, our National Employee Benefits practice shared an important recommendation regarding mental health. The report stated quite simply that “increasing access and support services for behavioral services is vital.

While many employers have responded by promoting employee assistance programs (EAPs) and offering access to mobile apps and online tools that are designed to help employees with resiliency, relaxation, and meditation, there is a new service to consider. Employers may want to educate their employees about the newly launched Federal Communications Commission (FCC) national 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

By calling or texting 988, individuals are connected to mental health professionals that work for the Lifeline. The Lifeline is a national network of more than 200 crisis centers that helps thousands of people overcome crisis situations every day. In addition, veterans can press “1” after dialing 988 to connect directly to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline which serves our nation’s Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and those who support them.

This easy-to-remember three digit dialing code is designed to replace a previous phone number that connected people to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. According to one report, calls to the hotline increased by 45 percent during the week after the Lifeline switched to 988 from a longer number.

To increase awareness about this hotline, employers should consider mentioning it in future communications to employees. This may include:

  • Hanging up a poster in common areas at onsite work locations
  • Promoting the hotline via a post on an intranet or corporate social media network to ensure remote employees have access (The FCC has provided materials that may be utilized here.)
  • Mentioning the hotline in wellness-related newsletters that are shared with employees
  • Updating materials that share contact information for services available to employees and their family members

Offering many resources to support behavioral health and other wellbeing services is now a must for all employers. If you have any questions about how to offer and communicate behavioral health services to your employees, remember Risk Strategies is here to help. Contact us today.

The contents of this article are for general informational purposes only and Risk Strategies Company makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein. Any recommendations contained herein are intended to provide insight based on currently available information for consideration and should be vetted against applicable legal and business needs before application to a specific client.