Over the weekend the FCC changed the National Suicide Hotline number to 9-8-8. This is similar to how we would call 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Previously, the Suicide Hotline was an eleven digit 800-number. This change makes it easier for people to remember when they are experiencing a mental health crisis.

This is an immediate resource people can call or text when in need of someone to talk to.

More People Utilizing Mental Heath Services in Bismarck-Mandan

I reached out to a local therapist with Sanford Health, Chelsea Christensen, she tells me there is an uptick in the amount of people reaching out for mental health services, like counseling and therapy in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

"Covid-19 was a huge stressor in many ways...it limited the ability to access a lot of our social supports and coping strategies which caused emotional and mental health struggles for everyone," said Christensen.

Afraid To Reach Out

Christensen also tells me there are many people that need help, but are afraid to reach out, or come to an office in-person.

"I meet with people every day who feel that they shouldn’t be struggling or who feel that their situation is not as bad as someone else’s so they shouldn’t be taking a spot," said Christensen.

Christensen says people shouldn't think that way. Instead, it should be treated like any other health issue.

'When you wait for a cardiologist you don’t think about taking up another spot for someone else because their heart issue might be worse. Our mental health is just as important to our overall functioning as any other health issue," said Christensen.

National & Local Resources

While it's important we eliminate these stigmas, other resources like the National Suicide Hotline are available.

Sanford Health also offers a variety of services for those struggling with their mental health, along with several other local organizations.

If you or someone you know is in need of immediate help, please reach out and talk to someone. There is always hope, and there are people out there who want to help and support you.


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