988 Promises To Save More Americans In Crisis. Will It?

phone laying on the ground with a phone line attached
Zain Murdock
July 28, 2022

In the U.S., one person dies by suicide every 11 minutes, and Black Americans have seen a huge increase. It’s now a leading cause of death, especially when police get involved. But when our people experience a mental health crisis, who else can we call?

A new crisis hotline, 988, went live on July 16, 2022, but with understaffed call centers and the still-looming danger of forced hospitalizations, the roll-out raises some concerns. 

The big question for us is: will 988 still send cops to your house?


988 intends to have trained mental health professionals answering the phone, but around 10% of callers may need in-person help.  If there isn’t a response team available to address a dangerous situation, cops could be on their way.

Mentally ill civilians are 16 times more likely to be killed by police, making up 25% of all the people police kill. The stakes are even HIGHER for Black people in crisis.

Black people requiring mental health support NEED a safe, effective alternative to policing. But 988 may not truly work without proper resources and organization - and without police to kill us in the first place.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: