NAMI has long supported a national 9-8-8 phone number to allow persons who are in mental health crisis or who are suicidal to get the help that they need. Within North Carolina, callers are routed to REAL Crisis Intervention, our state’s crisis call center, which puts the caller in touch with a mental health professional on staff and then, when needed, with follow-up by a mobile crisis team.

Preliminary numbers from REAL Crisis intervention are showing that the 9-8-8 option is being used heavily in its first weeks. Nevertheless, some groups have expressed a reluctance to promote 9-8-8, saying that a call to the crisis number may well promote a visit from law enforcement rather than mental health professionals.

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