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What You Should Know About the New 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Line

The number “9-8-8 is now active across the United States. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services,” the hotline’s website reads.

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When the 9-8-8 hotline launched, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office tweeted “help is closer than you think” before tweeting the new number.
When the 9-8-8 hotline launched, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office tweeted “help is closer than you think” before tweeting the new number.

By Aldon Thomas Stiles, California Black Media

On July 16, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline officially became the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

The service also launched a new quick dial hotline number for California residents. Californians can now call or text 9-8-8 any time of day, seven days a week, to reach trained counselors who can help with mental health or substance abuse crises.

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a Los Angeles-based mental health services provider and a leader in whole-person mental health care and suicide prevention for nearly 80 years and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) were the two organizations central to implementing the new hotline.

The number “9-8-8 is now active across the United States. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services,” the hotline’s website reads.

Formed in 2005 and led by SAMHSA, the hotline has over 200 crisis centers that callers are routed based on their area code.

When the 9-8-8 hotline launched, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office tweeted “help is closer than you think” before tweeting the new number.

Aside from rhetoric promising a commitment to mental health, Newsom proposed $7.5 million for one-time startup costs and $6 million in ongoing funding for the 9-8-8 hotline. In this year’s state budget, $1.4 billion is proposed for mobile crisis teams to serve people with Medi-Cal health coverage.

The previous number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273-8255, will still be available for an unspecified amount of time.

Jennifer Christian-Herman, from Blue Shield of California, believes that the change to 9-8-8 is a “powerful indication of how seriously we’re taking suicide and mental health as a country.”

Christian-Herman said that the 9-8-8 phone/text line will “help save many lives.”

One of the goals of this quick-dial hotline number is to divert people in crisis to mental health specialists as opposed to going through the 9-1-1 emergency line and potentially dealing with responders who might not be as equipped to address mental health related episodes.

California has alternative options for people suffering from a crisis but who do not feel like they are at the point of committing suicide.

One such alternative is California’s mental health “warm line.” Operated by CalHOPE and the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, the service is designed to assist people in non-emergency situations.

The peer-run warm line (Call 855-845-7415 to speak to a counselor) began in 2014 and has received over 185,000 calls since 2019, according to the Mental Health Association of San Francisco

This organization is currently looking to secure annual funding for this program through 2027.

“We provide assistance via phone and web chat on a nondiscriminatory basis to anyone in need,” the organization’s website reads. “Some concerns callers share are challenges with interpersonal relationships, anxiety, pain, depression, finances, alcohol/drug use, etc.”

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Oakland Post: Week of February 14 – 20, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of February 14 – 20, 2024

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Oakland Post: Week of February 7 – 13, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of February 7 – 13,, 2024

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PRESS ROOM: Oakland Pic Hosts New Year’s Career & Resource Expo 

OPIC CEO Pastor Raymond Lankford expressed his enthusiasm for the event, stating: “This Career Fair is not merely a gathering of employers and prospective employees; it’s a platform for opportunity, growth, and community collaboration. We are thrilled to bridge the gap between Oakland’s talented residents and the employers who recognize their potential. Together, we are building a stronger Oakland.” 

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Connecting Employers and Talent in Oakland and Beyond 

OAKLAND, CA – Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc., is hosting the New Year’s Career & resource Expo on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 12 noon at the Oakland Coliseum – Eastside Club – 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland CA 94621.

This exciting event brings together over 70 employers, all seeking to hire Oakland residents with various skill levels to fill a wide range of employment opportunities. Additionally, a collaborative of resource agencies will be in attendance, providing further assistance to job seekers.

OPIC CEO Pastor Raymond Lankford expressed his enthusiasm for the event, stating: “This Career Fair is not merely a gathering of employers and prospective employees; it’s a platform for opportunity, growth, and community collaboration. We are thrilled to bridge the gap between Oakland’s talented residents and the employers who recognize their potential. Together, we are building a stronger Oakland.”

For more information or to request media access, please contact Yawo Tekpa at yawot@oaklandpic.org.

OAKLAND PIC HOSTS NEW YEAR’S CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO 

  • Who:             All job seekers, with all ages and experiences welcome
  • What:              Connecting Employers and Talent in the Community
  • When: Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 12 noon
  • Where: Oakland Coliseum – Eastside Club – 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland CA 94621.

OPIC INVITES YOUR ORGANIZATION TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR UPCOMING NEW YEAR’S CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO!!!

Dear Esteemed Employer & Community Organization Partner,

Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc. (OPIC) is excited to wish you a warm welcome into 2024! A new year, a new HOPE!!!

We enthusiastically invite your organization to participate in our NEW YEAR CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO at the OAKLAND COLISEUM!!!

DATE: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2024

TIME: 12:00 NOON – 3:00 P.M.

LOCATION: OAKLAND COLISEUM – EAST SIDE CLUB

ADDRESS: 7000 COLISEUM WAY, OAKLAND CA 94621

Participating Employer & and Community Resource Partners will receive one six-foot table and two (2) chairs for this event. Additional information, including event details and logistics, will be forwarded after you sign-up.

Please confirm your attendance by completing the online registration link below by JANUARY 31, 2024 at the latest.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bfv0LXBexc26AeE_cosSoQrpYrx2HXOIwn1bG47chwU/edit

Thanks to our invaluable network and partnership, we are giving HOPE to many community members through quality employment opportunities and supportive resources.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Yawo Tekpa, Assistant One-Stop Operator/Events Coordinator, at (510) 419-0392 office/ (510) 499-6657 cell.

Sincerely,

Raymond Lankford                Yawo S. Tekpa,

CEO                           Assistant One-Stop Operator/Events Coordinator

raymondl@oaklandpic.org                   yawot@oaklandpic.org

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