La Department Health Launches Awareness Campaign for 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The Louisiana Department of Health is launching a campaign to raise awareness of
the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

According to officials, the Lifeline is available 24/7 to anyone in mental health distress or who may be worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. 988 crisis counselors are trained to help reduce the intensity of a situation for the person seeking help and connect them to additional local resources, as needed, to support their wellbeing.

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the third leading cause of death for individuals ages 15-24. In 2021, 48,183 Americans died by suicide, including 689 in Louisiana. One death by suicide occurs every 11 minutes, wrote officials.

“Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to recommit to raising awareness about the importance of mental health in the lives of all Louisianans,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available to
anyone in mental health distress. If you’re depressed, going through a hard time,
thinking about suicide or just need to talk, 988 is for you. 988 is for all of us.”

As part of the 988 awareness campaign, LDH is launching an online 988  dashboard providing transparency on key metrics of crisis call data from Louisiana’s two 988 crisis centers.

According to the dashboard, among Louisiana callers self-reporting their information to 988: 59.4% are White and about 34.8% are Black. 60.6% are female and 38.9% are male. 32.2% are ages 25-40 and 18.9% are ages 18-24 and 18.1% are ages 41-59. The most common referrals were for mental health, housing and financial assistance. Orleans, East Baton Rouge and Jefferson parishes had the highest volume of calls.

The dashboard, which will be updated monthly, contains metrics on accessibility,
referral source, reason for the call, and some outcomes, but they do not contain historical summaries. Demographic data is available for only about 20% of calls, as it is not always possible to collect data during a crisis call.

Calls to 988 are confidential and any self reported data is aggregated before sharing with the public.








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