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Centerstone to strengthen 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline through new national LGBTQI+ youth chat and text line
Centerstone, a national nonprofit provider of mental health and substance use disorder services, is among 4 organizations strengthening access to suicide prevention and crisis services for LGBTQI+ youth as a result of funding awarded by Vibrant Emotional Health. Launched last fall as a pilot program by Vibrant Emotional Health, the administrator of the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, the LGBTQI+ chat and text line offers crisis and suicide prevention services and resources by trained mental health professionals for people aged 25 and under.
When individuals contact the 988 Lifeline, by calling or texting 988, or by visiting 988lifeline.org for online chat, there is an option to connect with an LGBTQI+ trained counselor. This funding will allow Centerstone to hire 25 trained professionals who will provide 24/7/365 coverage for LGBTQI+ youth contacting the 988 Lifeline through text message or online chat. Once fully staffed, officials at Centerstone expect to respond to 5,000 messages each month through the LGBTQI+ youth line.
Research from a June 2023 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report shows that sexual minorities of all genders are at higher risk for suicidal thought and actions, substance use, and mental health challenges compared to the heterosexual population.
“Centerstone’s commitment to mitigating harm to the LGBTQI+ community, especially youth, and our advocacy efforts for this population is woven into the very fabric of the organization,” said Centerstone’s Senior Vice President of Crisis Services, Becky Stoll. “Our noble mission is delivering care that changes people’s lives and we do that regardless of factors like sexual orientation or gender identity.”
For more than three decades, Nashville-based Centerstone has operated a robust crisis services continuum, currently offering a crisis call center, national back-up center for 988 chat and text, mobile crisis response teams, psychiatric walk-in and observation centers, and crisis stabilization units across its five state footprint. Each month, trained mental health crisis response professionals at Centerstone respond to more than 10,000 crisis inquiries from across the nation.
To ensure Centerstone staff are well equipped to serve the LGBTQI+ community, each person completes 120 hours of training, which includes more than 20 hours of training on LGBTQI+ history, gender-affirming communication, use of pronouns, LGBTQI-related legislation, and more.
Centerstone is a nonprofit health system providing mental health and substance use disorder treatments. Services are available nationally through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, the use of telehealth and an inpatient hospital. Centerstone also features specialized programs for the military community, therapeutic foster care, children’s services and employee assistance programs. Centerstone’s Research Institute provides guidance through research and technology, leveraging the best practices for use in all our communities. Centerstone’s Foundation secures philanthropic resources to support the work and mission of delivering care that changes people’s lives.
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