988: A Hotline for Your Mental Health

Over the summer, a new hotline was launched to support those facing mental-health related distress. Abby Heidenreich is a member of the Purdue Extension Farm Stress Team, and she says 988, “is a hotline that is staffed by volunteers and call center workers who are there to talk with people who are in mental health crisis. So, this is not an emergency line. This is a hotline for people to call when they are in emotional, mental distress and they need someone to talk through these things.”

988 is a simple, short number for anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance abuse crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is how quickly stress, mental health, just being overwhelmed and having those negative thoughts, how quickly those can spiral into a physical issue or cause you to become physically injured.”

Heidenreich adds that the Purdue Extension Farm Stress Team has been working to provide materials to the call center that will help them better respond to rural community members, specifically the farm community.

“We’re coming into harvest season here. If you guys are on the farm, you’re in a tractor cab, you’re in the combine, your truck, for hours on end, and you’re sitting there and there is just nothing that you can do to shake these thoughts and these feelings that you’ve got, call 988. It’s a good time if you’re sitting there in the cab, especially by yourself. Nobody has to know that you called. You don’t need to tell anybody if you don’t want to, but there’s no shame in reaching out and just seeing what it is.”

Hear more from Heidenreich and the Purdue Extension Farm Stress Team as part of the Hoosier Ag This Week Podcast below.

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