A new national hotline for suicide prevention, mental health crisis response
The current U.S. behavioral health system is fragmented and difficult to navigate. People experiencing mental health issues may not know where to go for help — or what services are available to them.
That’s why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated that states adopt 988 as the national number for suicide prevention and mental health crises. The goal: increase, simplify and improve access to mental health lifelines.
The federal government has further supported the expansion of mental health support through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which can provide funding and grants to help states transform behavioral health services. However, a new dialing code is just a first step — and where federal guidance largely ends. It is up to states to leverage 988.
What states implement to serve 988 callers could mean the difference between life and death.
Accenture is a leader in the market with a solution for meeting the 988 mandate and improving statewide coordination of behavioral health services.
The Accenture Behavioral Health Solution facilitates omnichannel communication between state agencies, mental health providers and individuals calling for help. It incorporates technologies that leading companies and brands use to engage and support customers. And because the solution is cloud based, it can be implemented in as little as six to eight weeks — and then extended and enhanced to address additional needs.
Easily accessible behavioral health support
so people can move seamlessly between phone, text or chat
for call intake, routing and tracking to facilitate referrals AND closed-loop follow-up
Interoperability with external systems
to enable more effective crisis response and care coordination
Michigan leads the way with MiCAL
In January 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved Michigan Public Act 12 of 2020, which created a new behavioral health integrated crisis and access system known as MiCAL (Michigan Crisis and Access Line).
Working with Accenture, the State of Michigan launched MiCAL as a pilot in 2021. Citizens can use this free statewide platform to call, text or chat with mental and behavioral health professionals. The modular platform equips professionals with data insights and tools to help citizens get care in their moment of need and beyond. The platform also integrates with existing solutions and third-party mental health providers.
One easy-to-access number
Help available via phone, text or chat
Ability to connect callers to services across agencies and partners
Ability to track performance and identify trends in service needs and outcomes
How will your state leverage 988?
Think about your state’s current approach to behavioral health services and care coordination. Now consider how a single hotline — supported by an omnichannel platform — could help address these persistent questions:
How do people in crisis find and access behavioral health services that providers offer in our region?
Can people who call in crisis be directed to the right resources to meet their immediate behavioral health needs?
Do we know if the person has been helped or if they have been lost in the system?
Do crisis hotlines, 911 services and 211 services know how to direct people? Are they equipped with the right resources to provide care to the person experiencing a behavioral health crisis?
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