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9-8-8 is The New 911 of Behavioral Health

Generations Magazine
9-8-8 is The New 911 of Behavioral Health

Healthcare

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

It is often said that with age comes wisdom.

Baby boomers and other senior adults with years of wisdom now have an opportunity to put that experience to work helping younger generations—and maybe even some in their own. With specialized training through GUIDE, Inc., baby boomers and others will learn how to help people who might be suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, or may even be having suicidal thoughts. They can put that training to work, possibly volunteering to help in their community, church or even in their own families.

GUIDE, which is located at 750 South Perry Street, Suite 310 in Lawrenceville offers training for youth and adults on an array of topics, including substance abuse prevention; suicide prevention and mental health; personal development; team development and youth development. All courses can be done in both virtual and in-person formats. Per-person costs are listed in the course descriptions and group rates are available. For complete details on courses and registration, visit www.guideinc.org.

Substance abuse prevention trainings are designed to help raise awareness and teach strategies for preventing underage drinking, tobacco use, prescription drug misuse and other substance use and abuse. Suicide prevention and mental health trainings are designed to teach individuals the warning signs of suicide and how to respond in a crisis situation, as well as promote positive mental health.

In July, the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline went live and GUIDE’s suicide prevention program director, Amira Abdulhafid said this new tool will be a big help for those in crisis. People will now be able to call or text 988 and get help from someone at the other end.

“Data from 2021 shows that death by suicides in ages 10-24 in Gwinnett County went from 11 deaths in 2020, to 21 in 2021,” Abdulhafid said. “For all ages, it went from 86 to 136. For ages 50-plus, it was 33 in 2020 and 52 in 2021.“

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides 24/7 free and confidential support to people having thoughts of suicide or expriencing a mental health or substance use crisis.

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