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Lifelines for Mental Health in Tompkins County

Tompkins County Mental Health Details Launch of 988 Lifeline and Other Local Resources

Help is available if you or a loved one is experiencing a crisis. Dial 988.

(Ithaca, N.Y. August 24, 2022) – The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is the new national phone number to dial from anywhere in the event of a mental or emotional health crisis. Tompkins County Mental Health Department is urging community members to learn about how 988 services will work in Tompkins County where trained and compassionate crisis counselors are available on the line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Deputy Commissioner of Tompkins County Mental Health, Harmony Ayers Friedlander states the launch of 988 “is a game changer for our community.” She continues, "If you or a loved one is having a mental health crisis, 988 is a quick, anonymous, and easy way to connect to a caring and supportive counselor. If you’re hurting, please know that you matter and there are lifelines for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you or a loved one is in need. We have incredible organizations in Tompkins County who are prepared to help you or your loved ones, thank you to those organizations and their efforts to help anyone in need in our community.”

If you need an ambulance, police, fire, or other emergency response, 911 is still the number to dial. If you are looking for non-emergency community resources, dial 211. Veterans seeking counselors specifically trained about their experiences and needs can dial 988 and press 1.

988 is also a resource for people who are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. If you are struggling to support someone in crisis, dial 988 to be connected with a trained counselor.

In Tompkins County, local 988 counselors are at the Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service (SPCS). When you call 988, you are connected with a trained and caring counselor who is there to listen without judgement or distraction and help you sort out issues and potential solutions. Depending on the nature of the call, the 988 counselor may connect you with other service providers and resources in the community, including life-saving services if the counselor determines that is needed. If all SPCS lines are busy, your call is re-routed to another counselor within our region who is familiar with resources local to Tompkins County.

988 is a multilingual resource, if you or a loved one speaks a language other than English, help is available in that language when you dial 988.

There are Other Local Lifelines Available

Tompkins County Mental Health has published a list of local resources and providers online. Visit the online list to see what specific resources may be available to you or your loved ones.

You can see a therapist when you’re ready. Tompkins County Mental Health has walk in appointments available Monday 9am-2pm, Tuesday-Thursday 9am-3pm. In-person and telehealth options are available for ongoing care. You can visit 201 E. Green Street, Ithaca Monday-Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm, call 607-274-6200, and visit the website. Tompkins County Mental Health also offers individual, family, and group therapy, treatment for children and youth, and recovery programming for adults working to reach their goals.

The mission of the Tompkins County Mental Health Services Department is to meet the needs of the residents of Tompkins County in the areas of mental health, developmental disabilities, and chemical dependency by providing prevention and early detection, comprehensively planned care, treatment, and rehabilitation services. Find us online at TompkinsCountyNY.gov/mh. Sign up to receive COVID-19 updates or other county announcements via email or text.

Media contact: Samantha Hillson, shillson@tompkins-co.org

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