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After 50 Years of Taking Calls, Memphis Crisis Center Preps for 988 Suicide Hotline Implementation


Starting in July, anyone across the United States experiencing a mental health crisis or in need of suicide prevention services will only have to dial a simple, three digit number: 988.

And in Shelby County, that number will be answered by someone local, someone who knows the community and the resources offered in Memphis.

“Most people that are calling us they are not looking for a clinical experience so much as they are looking for an authentic human experience,” said Mike LaBonte, executive director of the Memphis Crisis Center.

The state has been “great partners” in granting them permission to be the primary point of contact for 988 and in preparing them for the launch, LaBonte said. He’s also grateful to their partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, which hosts them and provides them with a facility.

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