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NewsGovernmentSanta Clara County sets up 24/7 mental health hotline

Santa Clara County sets up 24/7 mental health hotline

As of last week, Santa Clara County residents seeking mental health or substance abuse support can dial 9-8-8 to reach trained counselors capable of helping by phone or in-person. The counselors will be available 24/7 to provide support.

A countrywide push led to similar services being available across America as of July 16. In Santa Clara County, a particular emphasis has been placed on the counselors’ ability to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations. In a release, the County said, “The goals of 988 are de-escalation, stabilization, and referral to continued services.” People can call the number for themselves or on behalf of others about whom they’re concerned. Services will be available to address emotional and psychological distress, pertaining to suicidal thoughts, substance use issues, and other challenges.

Said Board of Supervisors President Mike Wasserman, “This new lifeline is part of the County’s ongoing efforts to provide compassionate mental health services in all aspects. By calling 988, people will get connected with services as well as receive immediate help for those experiencing a crisis that could result in harm to themselves or others.”

Notably, law enforcement may or may not be a part of the 988 response, as professionals both inside and outside of law enforcement will be in reach. 

Said Sherri Terao, Director of the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department, “The service is free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day. If you or a loved one is in crisis, please call 988. We are here to help.”

If in-person dispatch is required, callers will be asked to share their information. 

988 calls can be translated into over 200 different languages. When you call, the service tracks your area code, meaning callers with 408, 650, and 669 in their numbers will automatically reach Santa Clara County resources by dialing 988. Callers with other area codes seeking services within Santa Clara County can dial 1-800-704-0900 and then press 1.



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Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.

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