9-8-8 Rollout Readiness
The 9-8-8 dialing code will be available for call, text or chat on July 16, 2022. Callers will be connected to a trained staff member who can help address immediate needs and connect the callers to care resources, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
We know that eventually 9-8-8 will become as commonly used as 9-1-1, providing appropriate mental health crisis responses for all Georgians. While 9-1-1 began in the 1960’s, it took thirty years to have 93% of the U.S. population covered by 9-1-1 and it continues to evolve. We will take lessons learned from 9-1-1 implementation: build capacity and staffing over time, with a focus on technology and infrastructure.
We expect call volumes to be higher than ever before and we are working hard to prepare to meet this demand. We are working to build capacity to serve this increased demand at a time of workforce shortages and other unprecedented challenges.
DBHDD’s planning committee has been meeting since April of 2021 to prepare for the July 16, 2022 rollout. The committee is made up of healthcare professionals and providers, law enforcement, 9-1-1 officials, policy makers, individuals with lived experience and behavioral health advocates.
DBHDD held a webinar on April 22, 2022: The Future Opportunities and Challenges of 9-8-8 Rollout. We had several great questions asked during the session and have added a whole list of FAQ’s to the Georgia 9-8-8 website, 988ga.org.