Iowa Crisis Centers See Huge Increase In Calls With Implementation Of 9-8-8

Cedar Rapids, Iowa — The two Iowa crisis centers that handle calls from the National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline saw 142 percent more contacts statewide this year compared to last year.

Emily Blomme is the CEO of Foundation 2 Crisis Services, and says the first year of the national number showed why it was created.

Blomme says many people pushed for the number on social media and there were national and state efforts to make people aware. She expects the knowledge of the number, and calls, to continue to rise in the second year.

She says anyone can simply dial 988 to talk with a trained counselor.

She says it’s an important resource for someone contemplating suicide, but people call for all different reasons from their car broke down, to they were just diagnosed with cancer.

Blomme says they are continuing to see the aftermath of the pandemic on people’s lives. She says they’ve also seen people realizing that COVID had a wide impact and many people may need help coping with the loses and changes it brought.

Blomme says one thing that is important to know is the 988 line isn’t just for individuals to call. She says it’s a great place for you to start if you have concerns with a family member, spouse, or friend.

She says you shouldn’t hesitate if someone you care about is in crisis, and you’re not sure what to do. The service is free, confidential and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Foundation 2 Crisis Services in Cedar Rapids answers the Iowa calls along with CommUnity Crisis Services in Iowa City.



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