Houston Matters

Since the 988 crisis hotline launched in Houston, twice as many calls are coming in

Jennifer Battle from the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD says her organization has had to add and train additional staff to handle the influx.


This month marks one year since the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline launched nationwide.


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Back in 2020, the FCC adopted rules to establish the new 988 hotline number to connect people in crisis with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. It took two years from that point to roll it out, as an act was signed into law, additional rules were adopted, and the nation, Houston included, transitioned to the new number.

Well, it’s been a year now since then. How has the system been working so far?

According to Jennifer Battle with the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, it’s been going pretty well.

In the audio above, Battle tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen that, compared to the previous year, the Harris Center has taken in more than twice as many calls since 988 calls began coming in. As she explains, the center has added and trained staff to handle the influx.

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Craig Cohen

Craig Cohen

Executive Producer & Host, Houston Matters

Craig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekday mornings at 9:00 on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer and manager,...

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