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Missouri ranks top 10% of states to answer 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline calls


This year, Missouri ranked in the top 10 of states for the percentage of calls answered on the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline since it launched in July of 2022 and new statistics show it is still going strong.

According to data reports, from October 2022 to October 2023, the 988 Lifeline answered over 58,000 calls.

In September, 5,059 calls were answered in Missouri, the highest number out of all the months reported. October of 2023 had the second-highest number of answered calls with 4,972, followed by July 2023 with 4,771.

As previously reported in June, the state has been able to answer about 90% of the calls the hotline receives. The lowest number since the launch of the hotline was in the first month, July 2022, at 87%, and the highest was in May at 94%.

That number has relatively stayed the same, with in-state call answer rates ranging from 88% in October of 2022 to 95% in July of 2023.

Over the year the data represents, the average speed time to answer a call has rapidly increased.

Initially in October of 2022, it took about 27 seconds to answer a call. A year later, it now only takes an average of 14 seconds.

According to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, back in 2021, over 1,174 Missourians died by suicide, making it the 16th leading cause of death in the state.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours seven days a week and is free to use. People looking to use the service can either speak to someone over the phone, text or use the chat service on their website.

The 988 Lifeline is made up of a network of over 200 local and state-funded crisis centers across the country.

Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts is encouraged to call the hotline at 988.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories
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Gabrielle Teiner


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