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Arizonans show interest in new mental health hotline 988

988,  the first nationwide mental health crisis hotline, has been active for about a month and is getting a lot of interest.

The hotline is designed to give immediate support to those experiencing mental health crises. 

Justin Chase is the president of Solari Crisis and Human Services, one of the providers for 988 in Arizona.

“We’ve seen an initial spike of about 60% the first few days, a lot of people kind of testing the line. But we’ve seen an overall increase this month of about 30%," Chase said.

988 also helps connect people, and their loved ones, to long-term resources if needed. He says the creation of the 988 number is indicative of a paradigm shift in how important people view mental health and substance abuse challenges.

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Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.