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New mental health hotline to offer alternative to calling 9-1-1 in Montgomery County

Stock photo of two animated people wearing a headset, talking to callers on a support on hotline.

Starting January 1, Montgomery county residents will be able to call a new hotline for mental health and substance use crises. The Crisis Now hotline will operate 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Callers will be able to speak with trained behavioral health professionals who can help de-escalate the situation and connect people with local, mental health resources. The hotline will be an additional service to the current suicide prevention hotline.

The hotline is operated by RI International, an Arizona-based mental health care organization. They operate the Crisis Now hotline in 10 other states.

Helen Jones-Kelley is the CEO of Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services. She says the Crisis Now hotline will provide services that can help people before they get to a breaking point.

“We've been through a lot. These last two years have challenged us in so many ways,” Jones-Kelley said. “But the reality is the need is there and people know it is and they're looking for help.”

Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addition and Mental Health Services

According to a press release from ADAMHS, substance overdose deaths are the highest in the county in three years, and calls to the suicide prevention hotline are up 30 percent.

Jones-Kelley encourages residents experiencing mental health crises to call the hotline instead of dialing 9-1-1. The hotline number is 833-580-CALL, or 833-580-2255.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.