What’s the news: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, stressful holiday season and National Veterans and Military Families Month, T-Mobile announced that it is the first major wireless provider to make the 988 emergency lifeline immediately available to its customers. Starting today, customers who dial 988 on the T-Mobile network will have free access to approximately 180 crisis centers that offer real-time, lifesaving mental health services from professionally trained counselors.
Why it matters: Suicide is a national health crisis that leads to one death every 11 minutes. An average of 17.6 of America’s military veterans die by suicide each day and a larger number of people than ever are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-digit 988 dial-out makes it easier for Americans in crisis to access the help they need and experts believe it will decrease the stigma surrounding mental health issues longer term.
Who it’s for: Those who recognize that rapid access to suicide prevention and mental health counseling is critical, especially now.