“We are seeing a wide range of severity levels,” explained Vickie Charpie, AltaPointe’s assistant coordinator for the 988 crisis line. “From people who are calling in just having those suicidal thoughts, to people who have attempted.”
AltaPointe’s 988 crisis line team has received calls from people of all ages, including children.
“Especially with school back in session now, children may be experiencing an incident in school, being bullied or just having a bad day,” said Charpie. “We also hear from teachers and school staff who are more aware of what’s happening with our children.”
The 988 Crisis Line isn’t just for someone experiencing emotional stress. Loved ones or concerned individuals are encouraged to call, as well.
“We will work to empower them with the tools and understanding they need to help them encourage the person in crisis to reach out for help,” said Charpie.
Ultimately, the 988 crisis team works to create a safety plan for the individual in need and connect them with resources available in their community.
“In our area, we can connect them with AltaPointe’s outpatient services, our psychiatric hospitals, or our Behavioral Health Crisis Center,” explained Charpie. “And if they are outside of our counties, then we’re going to find the closest community mental health center.”
With permission, they may even do follow-up calls with high-risk callers within 24 hours to ensure the safety plan and the resources are working.
“It’s not just a one-call and done. You will connect with someone who cares and will help you through this time,” explained Charpie.
AltaPointe Health is an extensive mental health and family medical healthcare system in Alabama. AltaPointe clinicians provide more than 1.3 million hospital, outpatient, residential, and crisis services annually.
SOURCE AltaPointe Health