What's the 411 on 988? - NAMI-NYC

What’s the 411 on 988?

Everyone experiencing a mental health, substance use, or suicide crisis deserves an appropriate response. Until this point, crisis calls for help have been met with inappropriate responses in our city. Instead of getting support, many people end up in the emergency room, in jail, homeless, or worse.

On July 16, 2022, a new national three-digit crisis number goes live. With the launch of 988, the hope is that this will change how crisis response happens.

Watch the replay of our July 14, 2022 discussion with experts about what this three-digit crisis number means for our community members, as well as the work still needed to build a crisis response system that addresses the needs of New Yorkers, especially those living in historically marginalized areas.


Denise Balzer is the Director of Crisis, Emergency and Stabilization Initiatives at the NYS Office of Mental Health. Her work focuses on the development and implementation of a comprehensive crisis response system for all New Yorkers. She has had a long career working with children, family and adults in multiple community and residential settings.

Kelly Clarke has been the Program Director of NYC Well with Vibrant Emotional Health since 2016. NYC Well serves as the front door to NYC’s behavioral health network, connecting New Yorkers to free confidential, high quality behavioral health information, referral, support and crisis intervention services as well as follow-up and peer support services 24/7/365 through phone, text and/or chat. NYC Well is also a member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Kelly is a registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia, and serves on the Board of Directors and as an Accreditation Examiner for International Council for Helplines. She has a multifaceted background in mental health, substance misuse, child protection, and veteran issues, working throughout Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Watch the English + ASL interpretation replay
En español