The United States Will Award $35 Million in Grants to Tribes for a 988 Crisis Line

Daniella Cressman
"Most people in Santa Clara Pueblo in Northern New Mexico know each other. So when a tribal member needs mental health services or help for substance abuse, calling a tribal office might lead to an aunt, cousin or other relative." —Felicia Fonseca (Associated Press)

Needless to say, confidentiality is paramount—rumors tend to travel fast in small communities, which can lead to an undue amount of shame and alienation for folks who are already struggling to overcome an addiction.

"Confidentiality is important, pueblo Gov. Michael Chavarria said shortly after federal officials visited to talk about new grant funding available for tribes to spread the word about a nationwide mental health crisis hotline." —Felicia Fonseca (Associated Press)

The number is meant to provide assistance to people who are struggling—the three digits were selected because they are relatively easy to remember.

"The 988 Lifeline went live in June. It’s designed to be an easy number to remember, similar to 911. Instead of a dispatcher sending police, firefighters or paramedics, 988 connects callers with trained mental health counselors. People also can text the number or chat with counselors online." —Felicia Fonseca (Associated Press)

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Health announced that it is making $35 million in grant funding available to Native American and Alaska Native tribes to ensure that callers actually receive the proper care.

"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday it’s making $35 million in grant funding available to Native American and Alaska Native tribes to ensure callers receive culturally sensitive support as well as follow-up care if needed. The deadline to apply is Oct. 25. The reach will be limited, a fact often criticized by tribes who say they are forced to compete against each other for limited resources. Any of the 574 federally recognized tribes are eligible to apply, along with tribal organizations. Up to 100 grants will be awarded. The funding is part of $150 million set aside for the 988 hotline in a bill addressing gun violence and mental health that President Joe Biden signed in June. Overall, the federal government has provided $432 million to expand the network of crisis counselors and telephone infrastructure, and help educate the public on the 988 hotline — some of which was available to states and territories as grants." —Felicia Fonseca (Associated Press)

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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