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SAMHSA and Vibrant Emotional Health, the 988 Lifeline Administrator, Seek Additional Spanish-Speaking Centers for 988 Lifeline Network

According to the US Census Bureau, the Hispanic or Latino population, which can include people of any race, was 62.1 million in 2020, or 18.9% of the total U.S. population. This represents 23% growth since 2010 and is the nation’s second largest racial or ethnic group. Over 71% of Hispanics or Latinos speak a language other than English at home, and 28% report that they are not fluent in English. Hispanic or Latino people can face barriers to obtain healthcare, including affordable and accessible mental healthcare. Aside from language, a lack of cultural competency among providers, stigma, and fears related to legal status can all prevent them from getting the assistance they need for any mental or behavioral health concerns.

One of the primary goals of instituting the 988 Lifeline service in the US was achieving greater access to mental health care for all, and a reimagination of what crisis and mental health care can be in communities across America. We know there can be disparities in access to care, and the quality of care itself, for BIPOC individuals including the Hispanic and Latino population. To reduce both language and cultural competency barriers to Hispanic or Latino people receiving care, and to ensure the answer rates for these calls can be as high as calls for English-speaking services, SAMHSA and Vibrant Emotional Health are seeking more Spanish-speaking centers to join the 988 Lifeline network.

If your organization has proficiency in Spanish language mental health, emotional wellbeing, or suicide prevention support through crisis counseling, and are interested in becoming a 988 Lifeline center, please visit https://988lifeline.org/our-network/ and contact the 988 Lifeline through the “Become a Lifeline Crisis Center” tab.

References
US Census Bureau

NAMI

988 Lifeline

US Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

988, BIPOC mental health, Multi-language Capabilities, suicide prevention

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