The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2015 for a Cooperative Agreement for Networking, Certifying, and Training Suicide Prevention Hotlines and a National Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH). The purpose of this program is twofold. First, to manage, enhance, and strengthen the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (referred to as the Lifeline), SAMHSA’s system of toll-free telephone numbers, primarily 1-800-273-TALK (8255) that routes calls from anywhere in the United States to a network of certified local crisis centers that can intervene with, support, and link callers to local emergency, mental health, and social service resources. The technology permits calls to be directed immediately to a suicide prevention worker who is geographically closest to the caller. Second, this cooperative agreement supports the National Disaster Distress Helpline, through the number 1-800-985-5990 and text number TalkWithUs to 66746 to increase state and local capacity to connect affected residents with needed behavioral health services such as crisis counseling and referral services after a disaster and/or traumatic event.
The SAMHSA Lifeline is a 24-hour, confidential suicide prevention hotline and chat network available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. It is available to callers from anywhere in the United States. Callers can call a single toll-free number, primarily 1-800-273-TALK (8255), to be routed to the closest crisis center within the Lifeline’s network of certified local crisis centers that can link callers to local emergency, mental health, and social service resources
The DDH is a free, confidential 24/7 crisis support service that connects residents across the country who are experiencing distress as a result of a disaster and/or traumatic event with a crisis center responder through a sub network of the Lifeline crisis centers. Through the number 1-800-985-5990 and text number TalkWithUs to 66746, the DDH increases state and local capacity to connect affected residents with needed behavioral health services such as crisis counseling services and referrals after a disaster and/or traumatic event. Counselors provide crisis-counseling support, information on available resources, and provide referrals to local services and supports that are based on the caller’s geographic location.
The DDH initiative is expected to increase and improve public access to crisis intervention services, response to public need during periods of disasters and traumatic events, and to promote a consistent and evidence-informed approach to crisis hotline and text services throughout the network.
The Cooperative Agreement for Networking, Certifying, and Training Suicide Prevention Hotlines and the Disaster Distress Helpline programs seek to address behavioral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by encouraging the implementation of strategies to decrease the differences in access, service use and outcomes among the racial and ethnic minority populations served. Several social factors make a person more vulnerable than others in times of disaster. Some include where you live, level of poverty, age, being unemployed or gender (particularly with women supporting children or elderly parents). Following a disaster, it is relatively common for impacted persons to experience anxiety and stress. If these conditions are left untreated, there is increased possibility that the mental health status of these individuals will worsen and the social and economic costs associated with depleted health and lost productivity can increase. (See PART II: Appendix G – Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities.)
The Cooperative Agreement for Networking, Certifying and Training of Suicide Prevention Hotlines and Disaster Distress Helpline grant is authorized under Section 520A of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020-28.