Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life

[2022-07-17 Sun 12:41] Better than a gist

Tags: community-support

If you aren’t sure about the new 988 suicide prevention hotline, here are some other numbers you can call in the US, via Twitter.

I wanted to share a tweet with alternate national hotlines, but there was no alt text for screenreaders — and the text from the image has a bit too much text for a tweet. So here’s the list, reformatted and with links added by me.

The tweet I wanted to quote:

{{< twitter user=“jiminspinkypal” id=“1548717117683503106” >}}

The image accompanying the tweet lists alternative numbers to call, which I already listed above because that’s the important bit.

According to the tweet, there are privacy violations along with risk of police involvement and involuntary hospitalization if you call 988. Later in the thread they added a link to Roll-out of 988 Threatens Anonymity of Crisis Hotlines. That article links out to additional resources, none of which I am informed enough to verify.

So I looked for the official responses in the SAMHSA 988 FAQ.

If I contact the Lifeline for help, will I be hospitalized?

All Lifeline crisis centers adhere to the Lifeline’s Imminent Risk Policy, which means that crisis center staff work through active engagement to provide support and assistance for people at risk in the least restrictive setting possible. In fact, most contacts with the Lifeline are resolved by the Lifeline itself, by chat or phone, in a manner that does not require additional immediate intervention.

The attentive reader will note that this answer is not a “no.”

The other concern relates to privacy concerns for callers.

Will geolocation services be enacted?

Currently, the Lifeline automatically routes calls by area code to the nearest crisis center (unlike 911, which uses geolocation). As part of the 2020 Designation Act, the Federal Communications Commission submitted a report examining the feasibility and cost of including an automatic dispatchable location that would be conveyed with a 988 call. Within that report, the FCC recommended that Congress require that a multi-stakeholder group be convened to further examine the key issues and collaborate on potential next steps. The FCC held a 988 Geolocation Forum in May 2022 and the agency is actively analyzing the information gathered during that forum.

And this sounds a lot to me like “not yet.”

So yeah, keep the alternate numbers handy if you have reason to be concerned. If nothing else, folks staffing a specialized hotline may be more understanding of your context and better able to talk you through your specific crisis.

Oh, and friends: please put alt text on your tweet images.

Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-01-26