Rhode Island to launch new suicide hotline

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island is days away from using “988” as its suicide and mental distress hotline. 

This number will launch nationally on Saturday, after a years long effort to help the curb police responses for mental health issues. 

According to the Mental Health Hotline, over half of Rhode Islanders who suffer from any form of mental illness do not receive any treatment.

The new, shorter hotline was chosen in order to make the national crisis number easier to remember.

Sen. Jack Reed was one of the leading forces behind this switch.

These initiatives come as the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that one in four fatal police shootings between 2015 and 2020 involved a person with a mental illness.

At the local level, Tiverton is discussing a partnership between their police department and Newport County Mental Health as well.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island