Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. launched a national 24/7 free behavioral health crisis hotline for anyone in the country who needs mental health or addiction services.
The hotline, 1-833-TREATBH (873-2824), is staffed by trained advisors, who will assess individuals and then connect them to the appropriate treatment channel – from a specialty service hotline to a facility near them, or in emergency situations to first responders. The hotline will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be free of charge, the company said.
“Part of America’s recovery from this pandemic and the related shutdowns will be a rebuilding of our society’s mental and emotional strength,” said Dr. Michael Genovese, Chief Medical Officer of Acadia Healthcare. “As we have seen through the approximately 900% increase in crisis hotline calls during this pandemic, the mental, emotional, and addiction concerns that previously existed have not gone away and have likely only been exacerbated by the restrictions that have been put in place to curtail the virus. Through our national network of dedicated resources, Acadia can help individuals get the clinical support they need immediately. We are pleased to do our part in helping our society work through this trying time.
Isolation and quarantine measures enacted across the country to combat the spread of COVID-19 may have immediate and long-lasting effects on the American population, he said. He projected an increase in deaths by suicide and from drug overdoses.
Data from 2019 indicated that 129 Americans died by suicide every day or over 47,000 suicide deaths over the year. More than 1.4 million Americans attempted suicide, records state. In 2018, data shows, 128 Americans died each day from opioid overdoses, totaling more than 67,850 overdose deaths per year.
“We have seen our society overcome many global and economic crises, from 9/11 and the H1N1 swine flu outbreak to the 2008 financial crisis and natural disasters,” continued Dr. Genovese. “The far-reaching and sustained psychological and economic impact of COVID-19 could be even more severe as they were in the aftermath of those devastating events. As America prepares to reopen the economy, we must provide as many resources as possible for those who will experience ongoing challenges in the months ahead.”