COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A bill allowing Ohioans to dial 9-8-8 for suicide or mental health crises unanimously passed the Ohio House of Representatives Wednesday.
House Bill 468, sponsored by Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County), would align Ohio with a mandate from the Federal Communications Commission in July 2020 that required all phone service providers to direct 9-8-8 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July, according to a news release from Aaron Mulvey, majority press secretary for the Ohio House.
“Establishing this hotline will provide crisis response and outgoing services to calls twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week by personnel who reflect the demographics of the served community and are trained to serve at-risk communities, including culturally and linguistically competent services for LGBTQ+, racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities,” Pavliga said in the release.
While several crisis hotlines are available for Ohioans, the 9-8-8 hotline would streamline assistance for a multitude of mental health crises, according to Mulvey.
HB 468 will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.