Crisis Hotline Saw Calls Double After Launch

Cedar Rapids, Iowa — It’s been nearly six months since the state launched the new 9-8-8 hotline number for people seeking crisis mental health support, and the call volume has doubled.

Foundation Two Crisis Services in Cedar Rapids is one of the two non-profits contracted with the state to run 9-8-8 call centers. CEO Emily Blomme says though they are still behind initial federal call estimates, in part because the state hasn’t launched a major campaign to promote it yet.

She says the organizations are starting to work on figuring out how to centralize dispatch for mobile crisis teams statewide and integrate the service with 9-1-1 dispatchers.

Blomme says she’s been pleased with her call center’s 9-8-8 operations so far. The vast majority of calls are answered in-state and in less than 12 seconds.

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