New Mental Health Crisis Hotline Launches; Local UPMC Crisis Facility Here to Help

By: Keyshawn Shaahid

A new three-digit number suicide prevention lifeline launched nationally on July 16. The phone number 9-8-8 is now in place to address suicidal, mental health, behavioral health or substance use disorder issues. Callers can dial or text the new number 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for free.

“Resolve is one of only 13 Lifeline partners for Pennsylvania and we are the primary call center for Allegheny County where we answer a few hundred calls every day,” said Dr. Jack Rozel, M.D., the medical director at Resolve Crisis Services of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital in Pittsburgh. “Since 2008, Resolve has provided services for all of Allegheny County with partnerships with county services and UPMC and is now the local network center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — one of 200 network centers across the country.”

90% of calls for Resolve come through its own crisis line (1-888-796-8226) and about 10% are through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Due to the large call volume, Resolve is also training more staff than ever before.

“We have over 100 incredible staff who are here 24/7, 365 [days a year] to help all the people in Allegheny County,” Dr. Rozel said. “And we provide that free of charge, by phone, mobile, walk-in, residential, and we are just a short call away. Our hope is to help people find a new pathway and find a new stage of hope in their life. We hope that using 9-8-8 as a 3-digit immediate access number will be a lot more memorable and will hopefully take some of the stigma and barriers out of reaching out for help.”