June 15, 2023  — Categorized in:

CDC Data Brief on Mental Health in Youth and Young Adults

Today, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at CDC released a data brief titled “Suicide and Homicide Death Rates Among Youth and Young Adults Aged 10-24: United States, 2001-2021.” Another recent CDC report reinforced that COVID-19 has substantially impacted young people, who saw widespread disruption in their daily lives.

Mental health and suicide prevention have never been more critical to the nation’s health and well-being, especially among young people.

A year ago, on July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline announced the transition of the former 1-800-273-TALK (8255) phone number to 988, an easy-to-remember three digit-number for 24-7 crisis care across the United States and its territories.

Within the first year of the transition to the three-digit number, the 988 Lifeline talk, text, and online chat have connected more than 4 million people experiencing suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crises, or any other kind of emotional distress with help.

The 988 Lifeline data from May 2023 showed an increase in overall volume compared to May 2022. That’s an average of about 350,000 – 360,000 contacts monthly.

●  Calls answered increased by 45%

●  Chats increased by 52% and

●  Texts increased by 938%

The 988 Lifeline answered 159,040 more contacts (calls, chats, and texts) and significantly improved how quickly contacts were answered in May 2023 compared to May 2022.

●  Calls: 235,292 (89%)

●  Chats: 66,954 (98%)

●  Texts: 70, 534 (99%)

Much work must be done to strengthen support systems, especially for high-risk youth. Launching the 988 Lifeline was an important initial step toward improving access to crisis services.

Developments and campaigns are underway to educate, increase outreach and awareness, and enhance access to crisis care. Vibrant Emotional Health is working to develop and implement language access services to include Spanish chat and text services, an LGBTQI+ lifeline, a 988 Videophone option for Deaf or hard of hearing American Sign Language users, and responses to 988 Lifeline contacts originating in Tribal communities.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.


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