The rapid growth of the new 988 mental health hotline has been greeted with positive media coverage. As many people expected, calls, texts, and chats to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, now renamed “988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline,” started climbing immediately with the launch of the 988 number in July of 2022. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the nonprofit that was given centralized control over the 988 system, Vibrant Emotional Health (VEH), have been releasing monthly updates on key metrics.

In April 2023, compared to April 2022, calls answered increased by 52%, chats by 90%, and texts by 1022%. The trend was heralded by federal Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to CNN: “Our nation’s transition to 988 moves us closer to better serving the crisis care needs of people across America. 988 is more than a number, it’s a message: we’re there for you.”

However, as previously reported by Mad in America, a percentage of people who contacted the former National Suicide Prevention Lifeline were subjected to geolocation tracing of their phone, computer, or mobile device. The Lifeline advertised itself as a place for confidential discussions about suicidal feelings but, according to its own policy, if a call-attendant believed a person might be at “imminent risk” of taking their own life in the next few hours, days, or week, the call-attendant was required to contact 911 or a Public Safety Answering Point to send out police and/or an ambulance to forcibly take the person to a psychiatric hospital.

Many Lifeline users described the experiences of betrayal, public exposure, police interactions, loss of freedoms, and forced psychiatric treatment as dangerous, harmful and traumatizing.

So, since the transition to 988, has anything changed? As contacts to 988 rise, how many people are getting forcibly subjected to these types of unexpected, unwanted interventions?

It appears detention numbers are climbing dramatically, too—even as VEH, SAMHSA, and many news outlets continue to obfuscate the facts publicly.

Contacts and Detentions Rising Together

For the ten-month period from July 2022 to April 2023, the new 988 Lifeline received more than 4 million total contacts—on pace to double the average 2.4 million calls annually to the Lifeline from 2017 to 2021.

The 988 metrics that are publicly shared, though, do not include any information about call tracing and involuntary interventions.

Replying in an email, Hannah Collins, the Director of Marketing and Communications for VEH, told Mad in America: “Still less than 2% of all contacts, for use of emergency services.”

SAMHSA spokesperson Dani Bennett gave the same approximation: “Based on the network call centers that collect and report this data, we estimate that fewer than 2% of 988 Lifeline calls require connection to emergency services like 911.”

Both VEH and SAMHSA refused to share any of the underlying data on which this 2% estimate was based.

It’s the same rate that VEH and SAMHSA have been publicly reporting for the Lifeline for several years. It’s also consistent with a 2018 internal Lifeline survey obtained by Mad in America through a freedom of information request—to this point in time the only actual data on the Lifeline’s involuntary interventions that’s been publicly released—which showed that on average 2% of total contacts, or 44,000 people, had been subjected to involuntary interventions over the previous year.

However, continuing at 2% means that detentions are climbing on pace with the rising number of contacts to 988. This means that, over the past ten months, a staggering 81,000 Americans who’ve reached out to 988 for confidential conversations have ended up being coercively taken to psychiatric hospitals. In 988’s first full year of operation, its call centers are on pace to incarcerate nearly 100,000 people.

Clarifying the Policies, Facts, and Obfuscations

Yet despite the rapidly expanding assault on many people’s basic civil rights, VEH and SAMHSA, aided by inaccurate reporting from major news outlets, continue to misrepresent what’s going on.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline’s promotions still misleadingly reassure the public that all contacts are “confidential.”

And many news outlets falsely assert, as a Cosmopolitan article did, that “[I]f you aren’t in the middle of a suicide attempt while calling, you don’t need to be afraid of being hospitalized or having emergency services called on you.” This, though the Cosmopolitan article, inscrutably, also linked to a VEH policy document that specifically clarifies that Lifeline’s “imminent risk” policy applies to a much broader range of situations than an “imminent death” policy. VEH also produced an updated policy in December of 2022 that re-affirmed its practice of conducting “involuntary emergency service interventions” when a call-attendant feels that a person could be at “imminent risk” for suicide within an undetermined “short time frame” in the future.

Still, perhaps the Cosmopolitan journalist can be forgiven for being misled because, in explaining the 988 intervention policy, SAMHSA’s Bennett recently wrote even to Mad in America that “some safety and health issues may warrant a response from law enforcement and/or Emergency Medical Services (namely when a suicide attempt is in progress).”

Bennett added that a majority of the interventions “are done with the consent and cooperation of the caller”—a talking point from 988 leadership that’s repeated often, even by journalists raising concerns about the Lifeline’s involuntary interventions. It remains unclear what “consent” means, though, when some Lifeline call-attendants reportedly tell certain callers that police will come for them whether they voluntarily disclose their location or not. It seems likely that, as police shootings during wellness checks have gained notoriety in recent years, many people now quickly realize it’ll be much safer to be described to police as “cooperative” rather than as in dangerous emotional distress and uncooperative.

With similar smokescreening, a VICE article reassuringly reported that “a representative for SAMHSA told VICE, ‘988 does not currently use geolocation.’” It wasn’t clarified that 988 call-attendants simply contact 911 to do the geolocating for them.

And typical of most 988 news coverage, NPR and Kaiser Health News attempted to correct alleged social media alarmism and appease an irate psychiatrist by characterizing the likelihood of these unwanted interventions as “rare” and “remote.” The underlying disregard for the basic rights and freedoms of people who call mental health hotlines is striking—If the state was locking up 1 in every 50 journalists in America for purveying dangerous misinformation, or jailed 58,000 of America’s 2.9 million daily airline travelers as potential terrorists, would major news outlets blithely reassure their audiences that these unsettling occurrences were nevertheless “rare”?

In any case, the actual rate of the involuntary interventions is much higher than 2%. When asked by Mad in America, neither VEH nor SAMHSA provided data on the main reasons for calls since the transition to 988. But data previously obtained from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline showed that only 20% of people typically called to discuss suicidal feelings—many people called to discuss other kinds of issues and problems or for referrals to community services. Calculating the rate of interventions on suicidal callers as a percentage of the “total contacts,” then, concealed a much more telling and alarming rate: Apparently, about 1 in 10 of callers with suicidal feelings were getting subjected to coercive interventions.

And since 988 has been heavily promoted as a broader mental health service, it seems likely that callers with suicidal feelings are a shrinking percentage of the “total contacts.” So, if callers with suicidal feelings now represent, say, 15% of total contacts, that would mean involuntary interventions are being imposed on 1 in every 7.5 people with suicidal feelings who call 988.

Both Promising and Concerning Developments

There are nevertheless some slightly promising new developments for 988 on the horizon—or at least, promises of promising developments.

According to its updated policy document, VEH has instituted a requirement that all involuntary emergency service interventions by 988 call centers must undergo a “supervisory review” in which the call-attendant and center supervisor document what, if anything, could have been done differently.

VEH also encourages call centers to “investigate alternatives” to sending out police and ambulances for imminent risk cases, and to “document strategies for outreach/education efforts to public/private entities to address this need” in their communities.

And in response to my queries about releasing more detailed data on involuntary interventions, VEH’s Collins’ replied, “We do not publish this data set yet, but work is underway to expand and improve the collection of this type of information so that we can publish with the other reports that we have made public.”

Yet there are some disturbing developments as well. As previously reported by Mad in America, members of the Lifeline’s own Lived Experience Committee had begun vehemently protesting the Lifeline’s policy of initiating unwanted interventions against people deemed to be at imminent risk, and had noted the lack of any scientific evidence that the practice saves lives or helps more than harms people. According to 988 Lifeline internal minutes from a March 2023 meeting obtained by Mad in America, VEH has disbanded the Lived Experience Committee and shut it down.

Overall, it’s astonishing that these 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline practices are not generating broader public concern. A wave of recent news stories in New York, California, and elsewhere around the nation allege that there’s a desperate “shortage of beds” for helping the most “severely mentally ill” and “outrageously dangerous” people. As I discuss in my book and in a recent Los Angeles Times article, such claims tend to be mired in poor science, prejudicial over-generalizations, and incorrect data on bed numbers and forced treatment rates. Regardless, what impact is it having to be filling those psychiatric inpatient beds with nearly 100,000 people annually who are doing nothing more “dangerous to self or others” than simply calling 988 to discuss their feelings?

Editor’s Note: The headline for this piece was edited. An increase from 44,000 to 100,000 is approximately 120%, not 220%.


MIA Reports are supported, in part, by a grant from The Thomas Jobe Fund.


  1. It is always heart warming when people are there to provide support. That is if you consider police taking you away to places unknown is considered support. Must be a Jungian thing, the dark side comes directly to you door, with guns, mace, handcuffs.
    They are there to help you discover the dark side. Not your dark side but societies dark side.

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    • I will agree that having police come to the door being an authority figures, we mental health people will let them in cause we think it’s the right thing to do, even if the police are entering for a different issue than my own well being. After they question a person such as myself. The police can very well twist my words into something that comes back on me to have me incarcerated. They knew I had and have Mental Health issues because my husband let the Magistrate know this information along with one of the police officers who had just visited the house the day prior. I had called about being suicidal before 988 and that individual who answered the phone transfered me to a survey….
      I’m like what???? That system wasn’t working and as I’m reading this article I sure as heck would not want to B having the police to come over and cart me away to a hospital. I am schizoaffective disorder bipolar type and Yes I think about suicide it’s almost like a given to me….. I am not acting on following thru but YES I do have those thoughts. I am in Recovery with my Mental Health Challenges. And I hope and PRAY a better solution can be derived.

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  2. “Psychiatric Detentions Rise 220% in First Year of 988.” God save all the innocents who deal with undeserved psychiatric forced drugging. Forced psychiatric – and forced or coerced medical / pharmaceutical drugging of anyone, for any reason – should be illegal.

    It’s all heartbreaking … but I agree thank you Mr. Wipond for your honest reporting. Megan’s book review of your new book likely was “too truthful” for the one’s trying to cover up the systemic crimes of the DSM deluded psychiatric and psychological industries. I do hope to go out, buy, and read your new book soon.

    But thank you for your honest reporting.

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  3. I’m most intrigued by the last question you asked at the end of the article: “[W]hat impact is it having to be filling those psychiatric inpatient beds with nearly 100,000 people annually who are doing nothing more “dangerous to self or others” than simply calling 988 to discuss their feelings?”

    For me implicit in that question is the heartbreaking sense that there is a large segment of the population who just needs to hear another human voice on the end of a telephone line. The bait and switch of a friendly voice to police knocking at your door, practically criminalizes feeling bad enough to call someone for help. It is a sad commentary on our lack of imagination as a society on how we can assist those in emotional distress.

    It also raises some interesting due process concerns for callers, particularly if they are falsely informed that the calls are confidential and the service is government based. According to the FCC site ( geolocation is not currently part of the 988 service. I’m assuming that the geolocation is coming from local implementation of the service, but it would be interesting to know which parts of the service are allowing geolocation and compare hospitalization rates to those who don’t.

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    • Unfortunately, there seems to be no law or regulation that restricts the fraudulent misrepresentation of confidentiality on hotlines of these kinds.

      FYI, I explain the current political situation with respect to 988 in my other articles available on this site. Basically, all 988 call centers use geolocation — but they cannot currently do it directly themselves. So call-attendants contact 911 or the local Public Safety Answering Point (usually police) to do the geolocating. However, VEH and SAMHSA have been lobbying the FCC and government heavily to be able to get NextGen911 geolocation powers for 988 call-attendants to use directly themselves. Last I heard, under the legislation, a stakeholder group was formed to consider it.

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  4. Hey… I am a crisis volunteer and this isn’t ringing completely true. People who call/text can share whatever they want. To be marked as an imminent risk contact is extremely rare and the contact may even de-escalate during the call. The goal is not to send cops out.. it’s the opposite.

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    • My experience (and I have a lot) is that crisis lines I’ve worked at or volunteered at had a wide range of different views on what to do about suicidal callers. I was a supervisor for a volunteer crisis line in Portland, OR, and we tried only to talk unless a person had a specific plan and intent to carry it out. The line contract was taken over by a “professional” service and the likelihood of a dispatch went up quite significantly, though they did eventually develop a “crisis team” who would see some of the people without police being involved. I later volunteered at a crisis line that never traced or dispatched under any circumstances. So it’s not legitimate to overgeneralize – different crisis lines have different philosophies, and it may also depend very much on whom you reach when you call. I can see people being VERY cautious about sharing that they are suicidal with such a crisis line, without knowing what their general philosophy about such calls is and how frequently they tend to dispatch the police!

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    • Adding to Steve’s comment, as I discuss in one of the other three articles I wrote about 988 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (all available on this site), the application of the “imminent risk” policy is very haphazard and varied. As I wrote, “one study of just four NSPL centers found that the number of times police were sent out ranged from 0.5% to 8.5% of calls.” That’s a massive range!

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      • That is exactly my point. How is “standardization” even possible when there are no objective standards possible regarding what diagnosis to give, how to do a danger assessment, optimum “treatment,” what “good outcomes” are, how to measure them, etc.? It’s all so completely arbitrary! How can “imminent risk” ever be anything but haphazard and varied?

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    • We’ll assume that you are the fully trained, fully experienced person who is patient and not on a deadline to get the caller off of the line immediately.

      But that is frequently what is happening to people calling in to these numbers. Or, just happening to people calling in to local CMH office at 435pm Friday night when switchboard is down and call center in different area of state employed by state which includes suicide hotline suicide social workers IN TRAINING are answering all calls.

      This happened to me.

      Simply calling doctor after release from hospital for CDiff infection which was very stressful and anxiety off the charts.

      I didn’t know that call was funneled to a state call center which also monitored suicide hot line.

      I simply made an off the cuff comment about ‘not caring if person died’ as I was super ill physically and my doc was there working but front desk operator was off duty.
      Never a mention of killing myself, just very sick physically and very anxious with no ability to reach doc to even leave message for extended weekend while he was IN THE CLINIC.

      Hang up to run to bathroom and I’m getting pound on my door and law forcing themselves into my home.

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  5. This happened to me while living in Strongsville, Ohio in 2013. I was in the middle of a call to the suicide hotline, just saying I needed to talk and was depressed, and the next thing I knew 2 cops were at my door. They told me I had to come with them, or else they would have to handcuff me. When at the emergency room, I told hospital staff that I did not need to be there and why. I then tried to leave on my own accord. An officer who was there for an unrelated matter detained me and put me back into a hospital bed, where they then restrained me with the straps. The bed was in the middle of a busy hallway. There is more, but I will just say that ER staff are either not trauma informed and have never taken a mental health class, or they are ill equipped to handle such an intake when caring for very sick or injured people. In short, I am now pretty afraid to go to the hospital.

    No one should go through that treatment. Any of it. That is enough to push a person over the edge, not “save” them.

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  6. “Overall, it’s astonishing that these 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline practices are not generating broader public concern.”

    It’s not astonishing at all. The public at large is so brainwashed into thinking that mental health treatment and therapy is manna from heaven and always works in every case. Reality is far short of the propaganda. Given that the failed outcomes of mental/behavioral health treatments end up in jails, prisons, homeless camps, cemeteries and other silenced, off-the-grid situations, the critical mass of failure just doesn’t seem to build up in the public eye. How convenint for the behavioral/mental health industry.

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  7. I’ve never trusted suicide hotlines and these days, there’s no way I ever would. I’ve seen what can happen to people who are in distress. In some states, it takes so little to get a commitment order. Police are the ones who get the orders, and like any call or “order,” police are allowed to use force (tazers and guns) if they feel threatened. Police always “feel threatened,” if they are there to pick up a person with mental illness, esp., if that person has used or is using any substance, such as alcohol or marijuana. There isn’t really an answer or solution within the modern-day western medical healthcare system for a family to safely get help for a loved one who is suffering from emotional and/or mental distress.

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  8. As I licensed nurse practitioner I contacted Coronavirus early in 2020. After 5 weeks in the hell and isolation and caring for an immune compromised spouse, I was traumatized and suffering PTSD.
    Remember the beginning of the pandemic? The world was shut down.
    My multi-billion dollar company, CVS Health, in their wisdom and greed refused to acknowledge my clinically acquired illness making me battle them throughout our illness, compounding the trauma and PTSD.
    Dozens of contacts with supervisors were addressed superficially and all of my complaints and requests for escalation ignored.
    Eventually a series of emails evoked a response from them.
    Contacting agencies including OSHA, DOH, EEOC, as well as media outlets and copying the company in resulted not in acknowledgement of the clinically acquired illness, but rather a police response.
    3 police officers just walked into a room I was in at the back of my garage.
    Fortunately I was reviewing all of my documents with a relative that is employed by a national media company. After showing the police the emails they said it was a “workplace dispute” and left.
    The only reason for this “welfare check “ was to protect the company interests from public exposure as I was going to be put everything in the public eye.
    This action just added more trauma to a deeply traumatic experience and exacerbated the PTSD.
    Within days the police returned. A whole force.
    Not posing a threat to anyone, especially myself, I was processing what happened to me in my “man cave”, the room in back of the garage.
    The room surrounded by windows, I was also surrounded by police.
    When they finally decided to just come in, I decided I would not communicate with them as this is just set up by the company. As they came in I went face first and assumed “the position “ expecting the worst. The PTSD was raging.
    I just depersonalized. They asked me to get on a stretcher. Rather, I let them drag my limp body from the only place I had any sense of safety.
    I am now subject to a forced hospitalization, restraints, forced drugging, and misdiagnosed with a myriad of nonsense mental health issues.
    Not one of them is PTSD.
    Treat trauma with more trauma. And I resisted them with all my will. Passively. While I was abused and assaulted. By people in my own profession. The more I fought for my life and protested the more “help” they gave me. And I’m a man. If you look into my eyes you would have no doubt.
    For 3 consecutive forced admissions.
    Because I was now raging inside for survival. And the effects of the drugs they gave me. And because I would never accept this. I would die before I let this happen to me. And they nearly killed me.
    And the things I saw, and the other patients that moved me, despite my own suffering, only serves as a testament to me that the whole system is just so very, very wrong.
    In the 3 years since this has occurred the trauma is now interwoven into the fabric of my being.
    I will never work in healthcare again because of what they did to me.
    I would never go to this system if I actually did need help dealing with a crisis. I would choose other methods of resolution. The fear from past experiences does not even allow one to express feelings in writing for fear of being misinterpreted.
    Dare you even post something like this and fear that 3 years later they will come for you again?
    Well I dare to say it. These experiences bring out thoughts of suicide.
    No I am not suicidal.
    I have seen the same story over and over. Different events, but the same story.
    The system may help some but it also kills many. Or ruins them for life by adding further trauma.
    To some death would be an easy alternative to “help.
    Looking back now these events have forever altered the course of my life.
    I suffer from PTSD. Medical charts will now always have multiple false diagnosis that will follow my name forever.
    That’s not “me” and never was. It’s just paper and an electronic interpretation of “me “ by others that have no clue.
    I’m so much stronger than others I have encountered. And I am still deeply affected not by what happened to me, but what was done to me.
    You can crush me to dust and I will never surrender. But how many people do not have that strength?
    Think about that.

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    • Hi DR, I’d like to connect with you directly to learn more. I discuss a number of workplace-related cases of these kinds in my book, and cite some studies, and I believe it’s a growing trend. Please feel free to get in touch through my website at–and that would be confidential between us until/if you say otherwise.

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    • Yes, same story over and over. And like Rob asks, why is there not more of an outcry against it. But what worries me most is that the general public, as shown by response to the choking to death of Jordan Neely, thinks that forced psychiatry is the answer to all the suffering they wish they didn’t have to see around them.

      I read your story and others (and my own, though I don’t tell it often any more), and it seems like surely, this is enough? Surely they can see now? And they don’t. But we keep trying, putting it out there.

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  9. I also worked as a crisis line volunteer line. The “supervisor” who is over a large team makes that final decision, but those supervisors usually last less than 6 months. De-escalation is always the goal, but a supervisor may tell you you are taking too long. Also, the one thing they demand you do on those lines is a risk assessment and often they have so scripted what they want you to say callers complain/question whether they are talking to a bot. And the crisis text line is staffed over 90% by 18-23 year olds who often make a “diagnosis” like anyone hearing voices is schizophrenic (and you are there to deescalate not diagnosis). So there are a number of variables that do allow for too many calls to the police and real issues of quality control and transparency.

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    • I am sure this is an accurate summary of what is happening today. One of the main reasons I left the crisis line was the “professionalization,” which meant more fear of lawsuits, more rules and expectations and rigidity, and a greater likelihood of sending the police out on calls that did not really pose any danger at all. And the lack of any kind of objective standards for police dispatching or diagnosing or anything at all in the “mental health” world makes “quality control” almost impossible.

      But it does encourage me to know that crisis lines do still exist where dispatching is not an option, and I wanted to make sure I shared that fact. Of course, it’s a volunteer crisis line, not a “professional” one!

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  10. This concerns me, especially since I am autistic and may say whatever is on my mind. I thought the American 988 was meant to be for callers who did NOT want police involved. Police would just upset me more in a meltdown. I would likely elope and then get tasered.

    The photo shows a person handcuffed. At least in Canada, where I live, police do not usually handcuff a person in crisis. There are rarely any need for handcuffs.

    And tracking someone’s phone is wrong and infantilizing. The phone tracking in the USA does not shock me, considering the controversial non consensual tracking of autistic persons through Kevin and Avonte’s Law.

    Instead of having another police number, the USA needs to have a 211 system that links to a non police response if the person wants that. Toronto has a non police 211 option through TAIBU.

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  11. Rob, I am seeking to work up courage to take on your entire book. From having only ventured to begin reading it, I am bold to say the work of understanding your subject matter is not for the faint of heart.

    In view of personal (first-hand) experience I had in 2022, I have had to reflect anew on our society’s current approach to what are called mental health ‘crisis situations.’ May I spare everyone the details of my ordeal.

    So far as I can figure it, the prevailing societal approach is to view any instance of a person being seriously scared about their situation as equivalent to that of a cat that is stuck in a tree. “Call the authorities, and have them bring a ladder!!” The person who is being viewed as a treed feline is supposed, then, to be very grateful for their rescue.

    At least where I live, in Massachusetts, there appears (to me, at least) to be a bias towards steering vulnerable people into what I term coercive care. If you go to a public service provider and request assistance, you might wait for a year to be seen. However, in emergency situations providers are required to respond; therefore, a perverse incentive exists for those feeling fragile, and for those seeking to help them, to exaggerate suffering and to say there are crises when none exist; in this way, only, can the person requesting clinical help obtain it. The implications of merging health care delivery with what the law calls ‘police powers’ for health care outcomes require attention.

    There is a great deal of protection around psychiatric care, on account of the social implications of mental treatment. It is not a bad thing, as such, to shield people’s privacy at the most delicate times of their lives. Only, in those fragile moments of people’s lives, privacy protections can provide permission for mental health providers to do far less than their due diligence for patients. And, if the results of this are sub-optimal, every one will suppose it is because of the dire, intractable, and basically hopeless nature of whatever human experience occasioned the exercise of police powers.

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    • Hi Esmeralda – yes, I’ve heard some people say the book is so hard to read they have to keep putting it down and taking breaks, and others say they found it “therapeutic” to read. I cannot predict which way it will go for anyone!

      I agree, I’ve heard many stories of people saying they just learned to say “I’m going to kill myself” if they wanted to get services.Some reported literally being instructed to say that by practitioners. Like, “We can’t admit you… unless you’re suicidal. Are you suicidal? Are you? If so, then we could admit you and help you. So… are you?” It appeared to have to do sometimes with getting insurance reimbursement, i.e. the insurance wouldn’t cover mental health care except in cases of emergency/suicidality etc.

      One can only imagine how much this kind of rampant, structural lying by patients and practitioners alike throughout mental health care systems is undermining any public ability to understand what’s really going on inside these systems.

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  12. This is an important article, because it shows how “help” can be turned into betrayal in a society that really has no idea what it is doing besides making certain professionals more money.

    Of course many callers will have no problems with their 988 interaction, and the people who push these “solutions” depend on that overall sense of benign results to sell their ideas.

    But this IS a suicide hotline! So you people with suicidal ideations are its intended audience and I am sure that involuntary commitment is a result that is planned into the system.

    We really need the entire society to be properly educated on what real mental health is and how it is achieved. I see no other alternative. We can’t leave it up to the “experts.”

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  13. hi, thanks for this reporting – I noticed that there was an increase from 44k to 100k that you noted – this is not a 220% increase, but a 120% increase. just wanted to note this as it seems relevant.

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  14. SAME ISSUES ! Are explained in the UK for Citizens suffering being sanctioned ( Social Security Money stopped / reduced ) and considering issues of suicide . THEN . typing this on the Department of Work & Pensions ( D.W.P. ) Journal Website where sadly finding . NEXT . the police at the home address belting in the home front door where the Citizen / Benefit Claimant doesn’t have the money to pay the housing repairs to fix & then suffers ( 1 ) sleep deprivation until home door is fixed ( 2 ) lack of home contents protection / personal security ( 3 ) a possible considerable time for housing repairs to fix . Lack of for some Family . Friends . Neighbours . to help

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  15. The State of Georgia and US BIPOC disparities and inequities show disparate, high Involuntary Civil Commitment, higher Acute DSM5R diagnosis, increased inpatient hospitalization, increased incarceration and greater morbidity and mortality. 988 is bad all around. We must make aware the consequences of calling 988. Inference, statement and or acknowledgement of self/other harm means you’re digitally triangulated, cuffed, taken to ER for medical clearance and when a bed opened up you’re immediately warehoused.

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  16. Am I the only one who has been threatened by a therapist “I can have you 5150’d right now if you don’t adjust your attitude.” I think I was reluctant to add-on another psych RX… Anyway, my point here is that it’s nothing new. They all care more about THEIR liability if “something happened” after we talk to them.
    The difference now that I see is this is a govt entity with many forms of tracking and surveillance at the ready. I wonder if the tracking was BUILT IN to this new system? Sorry, I started wondering about this as soon as I heard about it, concern for troubled ppl who call for help and get messed with, more trauma.
    The other issue is that the govt is getting alot of push from ppl who want to lock up anybody with a hx of “mental illness” just in case they get a gun and go rouge. It’s guilty til proven innocent. The cops and fbi etc are more than happy to go get ’em.
    It’s a great article, Mr. Wipond; I’ll look at your site and book. It may require deeper digging for more truth. I appreciate all the comments here too. Thank you for telling your stories. I hope you are well today!
    Mad and MAD, fight on.

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      • That has not been an unusual response by psychiatrists and psychologists to me, either. “If you do not agree to my special scam treatment, I’ll use it as a weapon to punish you.” or words to that effect.

        I have a feeling it’s not that unusual.

        I was shocked when my experienced Jungian analytical psychotherapist tried to pull that on me recently. I called her out on it a few days later after thinking about it. She just destroyed years of slowly built up trust. I’ll probably quit therapy with her now. These people just can’t seem to help being assholes.

        I would never, ever, EVER call a mental health hotline, not for any reason.

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      • Hey, I grew up with that saying in my household!! Maybe that’s why I’m in the psych system! Here in the Eugene Springfield areas Of Oregon, we have CAHOOTS- Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets 24/7 which is MH, ER and Police backup if needed. We’re fortunate. It’s nationally recognized anti CAHOOTS has done trainings elsewhere.

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  17. This article could not be more true because it happened to me, and I am still suffering the consequences today. This system was weaponized so the police could skip my due process, raid my home, put me in a psychiatric ward. Two days later I was released early after being sexually assaulted and an attempted rape in the middle of the night by my roommate. Upon my release I was told that the police had some questions for me, so I went to go answer there questions and was charged with two felonies, and I am facing up to 14 years in prison. The person who tried to rape me had zero consequences. This system is incredibly broken and can be easily weaponized in order to avoid the normal legal avenues officers have historically followed.

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  18. “So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious or otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.” (Voltaire), from “Why Public Schools and the Mainstream Media Dumb Us Down”, from the Academy of Ideas

    Getting hauled off for getting upset. How sick is THAT???

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  19. This article title is misleading. It implies that involuntary interventions are getting more frequent when the frequency is actually staying the same, according to statistics. The only difference is that there are more contacts.

    “However, continuing at 2% means that detentions are climbing on pace with the rising number of contacts to 988.”

    You would expect the frequency of the problem to stay the same if the same procedures are still used.

    Your editor could have used to headline “New 988 Service Attracts 120% More Contacts”, and then in the subheadline explain that this means more involuntary interventions too. If indeed that 120% is the number, which is unclear from the article.

    That the absolute number has risen is the piece of news you want to flag here, but I feel like when I first read the headline it led me to expect a different article.

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    • I do think it is of great concern that the number of contacts appears to have a direct relationship to the number of detentions. This would imply that the increase in contacts would have the same demographic distribution of seriousness as the ones already contacting crisis lines previously. Unless this is simply a redistribution of people who would have contacted another crisis line if 988 did not exist (which of course means there is NOT really an increase in contacts at all), one would expect that the new callers would have a LESS serious distribution of issues, because we should be courting new contacts who otherwise might not have called (the purpose of the 988 easier access).

      So there are two likely conclusions: first, that these callers are the same people who already used local crisis lines, and we have spent millions and millions of dollars to accomplish essentially nothing at all, or second, that calling a crisis line gives a particular probability of having the police dispatched, regardless of the average severity of the call. Neither one is a happy conclusion!

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  20. This is going to be very controversial. But the truth is that those people do not exist to help you! They are semi-fascists, or predators. They are like the dentists who claim that you have 6 cavities when you probably don’t have any cavities at all! (they do that because they know that your insurance covers up to 6 cavity fillings per year.) I have been forced to accept that the professionals will not help me, and they only exist to take advantage of us! Sometimes we need the help of regular (non-psychiatric) doctors. But even they cannot be fully trusted. They will prescribe high blood pressure meds, rather than tell us to reduce our salt intake. But what’s worse is that the high blood pressure meds have unlisted side effects such as chronic coughing that the doctors typically do not and cannot treat! Recently I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. The doctor’s main concern was why I didn’t want to take their “statins”. Well I am changing my diet and hopefully that will solve many of the problems. But I realize the truth now: None of America’s professionals are going to help me. It is my responsibility to help myself.

    Patients who seek psychiatric care should have certain guarantees that their rights will not be violated. But that is not the way our society has ever worked! Our society is not what it seems on the surface, that’s all I am going to say about that. To play devils advocate, it can be argued that if there did not exist draconian consequences for people who try to hurt themselves, then self-harm would become the norm. The main problem with that reasoning, is that you are taking away people’s basic rights for the rest of their lives, then that means they may be removed from the labor pool for the rest of their lives, thus worsening the supposed labor shortage!

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    • Brad, great commentary and well thought out. Lets start with the premise that “government is not the solution to the problems, they are the problem”
      I worry that this is to redundant and to lengthy to debate.
      Deinstituting mental health patients went out in the 60s. Seems like a come back is in play here. Heaven help us if gets involved.
      Its a juggernaut of a topic. Hippa, insurance, legalities,expense all before you address the need of the patients. This play book of 988 needs to be eighty sixed in a hurry. Birdsong is on the $ society run amok
      “Dystopian” well on our way.

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