Mental health advocates say they’re ready to shut down the nation’s only mental health line and turn their attention to other mental health services.
The hotline, staffed by volunteers, provides crisis intervention and crisis support to people who need help with their mental health and substance use issues.
The group has been running since March 2017, and it said Thursday it’s closed its doors after receiving complaints about the abuse.
“It was a long road to get here,” said Julie Deane, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“But we’re in the midst of this massive change.”
The group says it was founded by volunteers and is staffed by mostly former college students who were trained as mental health professionals.
It has been helping people with their problems, including substance use, for several years.
The federal government also operates a mental health crisis line, but it’s not staffed by members of the public.
The National Alliance said its decision to close the hotline was not a protest, but rather was a reflection of the growing demand for mental health help.
In the past few years, people have been calling 911 for help with issues like suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, mental illness and more, said Deane.
She said it’s now time for mental illness services to start turning their attention toward other programs, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Association on Mental Health.
“We know that we’re going to see more of this happening,” Deane said.
Mental health experts say it’s difficult to accurately determine how many people are calling the hotline.
But some experts say that number is higher than most people think.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2016 that more than one in four adults between ages 18 and 64 were calling the crisis line at least once a week.
Many people who use the hotline are on their own, but others have a close friend or relative who may be able to help them.
Experts say many people who want to call the hotline do so for a variety of reasons, such a lack of information, an anxiety attack, or the desire to get help.
“I can’t say that I’ve ever been on a phone call,” said Dr. John Hirsch, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health Services.
“Most people don’t understand that the line is really an emergency response.
And it’s a great way to go to get a quick help line for people to talk to.”
Hirsch said he would welcome any volunteers who wanted to continue working with the hotline, but he also wants to see the service’s quality improve.
“If it doesn’t, then we’re not going to get the quality we need,” Hirsch told USA TODAY.
The call center was established by the nonprofit Mental Health America to provide information and services to people with mental illness.
It provides a hotline, an online directory of mental health clinics, a chat room and other tools to help people access services.
It also serves as a resource for families with young children and for those in crisis.
The service is open to the public, and Hirsch described it as an invaluable resource.
But many mental health advocates said they’re concerned about the growing number of calls and the growing toll on the mental health system.
“You’re talking about people who may not be able for one day to get treatment, or for the next day to find out that their family is no longer seeing them,” Deutane said, adding that she was surprised that many people calling the line don’t have a mental illness or substance use disorder.
“There are a lot of calls that aren’t serious,” she said.
“And a lot that aren.
And they just aren’t there.”
Deane says she hopes the closure will spark a discussion about mental health.
“A lot of people are going to have to make some difficult decisions about their mental lives, their family lives, and their relationships,” she told USA Today.
It’s not about a phone number.” “
Hopefully, we’ll have a conversation about what mental health care is really all about, and what mental illness care is all about.
It’s not about a phone number.”
Deutanes comments come after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to ease regulations on the use of the crisis hotline, a move advocates say will help prevent further abuse and violence against people with serious mental illnesses.
The order will allow people to report emergencies or mental health issues, including to the hotline without fear of reprisal, and will require a call center operator to obtain a waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services before using the hotline for the purpose of accessing mental health treatment.
The executive order was not widely publicized at the time, but was quickly picked up by the media.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more people are in crisis each day than were killed in mass shootings in the United States from 1999 to 2017.
Mental Health advocates have criticized the order, saying it allows for