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In first six weeks, nearly 10K Georgians call state's new mental health line

In just six weeks of operations, close to 10,000 Georgians have called the state’s new 988 mental health hotline seeking support.

Right now, Georgians who call 988 – which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and part of a national initiative– are almost always routed to a counselor in the state. The 988 phone call is designed to be the first in a series of potential steps to help someone in mental health crisis. The trained counselor on the other end of the phone often can help calm the caller and refer them to outpatient services.

If additional help is needed, the counselor at the hotline can ask emergency first responders or a mobile-crisis team to travel to the person to help them on-site. The counselor can also help arrange referral to a crisis stabilization unit or other health-care facility if the person needs additional in-patient treatment.

Based on analysis of calls, callers are generally more rural than urban, between 25 and 34 and more likely by a slight margin to be male.

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