988 Study Commission report

On average, one person in the United States dies by suicide every 11 minutes. In Mississippi, 421 lives were lost to suicide and 107,000 adults had thoughts of suicide in the last year. There are 431,000 adults in Mississippi who have a mental health condition and 120,000 adults who have a serious mental illness. Mental health impacts every single Mississippian. Mental illness impacts our family, friends, neighbors, church members, and more. It does not discriminate. However, recovery is possible, and hope is available. 988 and other crisis services can provide that much needed hope to the citizens of our state.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. When the 988 crisis care continuum is effectively resourced, it can:

  • Connect a person experiencing distress to a trained counselor who can address their immediate needs and help connect them to ongoing care or local resources
  • Reduce health care spending with more cost-effective early intervention
  • Reduce use of law enforcement in behavioral health crises
  • Meet the growing need for crisis intervention
  • Help end stigma toward those seeking or accessing mental health care

Full 988 implementation requires a bold vision for a crisis care system that provides direct, life-saving services to all in need. Mississippi has been steadily working towards sustaining and enhancing a full crisis continuum of care. According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, about 98 percent of people who call, chat, or text the 988 Lifeline get the crisis support they need and do not require additional services in that moment. The 988 Lifeline is a key part of a broader vision for reimagined crisis care in the United States and Mississippi.

Mississippi is committed to saving lives by improving access to appropriate services and supports to respond to behavioral health crises. 988 is the entry door with trained counselors who can provide immediate support. Having all three components of someone to talk to, someone to respond, and somewhere to go is the key to a full continuum of care. Much work has taken place to provide access to Mississippians and much work is left to do. The Department of Mental Health and partners are dedicated to continuing this work and appreciate the direction and support of the Mississippi Legislature and State leadership.

Click to view the 988 Study Commission Report.