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988: New suicide prevention hotline launched

1 year 7 months 6 days ago Friday, July 22 2022 Jul 22, 2022 July 22, 2022 8:58 AM July 22, 2022 in News - Local

Experts say COVID-19 is not the only disease that has impacted people during the pandemic—anxiety and depression have also gone up in the community.

But, a new three-digit number could be someone's lifeline in times of crisis.

Dr. Alcides Amador, a psychiatrist at UTRGV, says now more than ever, the creation of the 988 crisis hotline could save lives.

"The stigmas and obstacles are that sometimes in our Hispanic, or Latino or Mexican-American culture, we're not very open about problems about mental health,” Dr. Amador said. “It's kind of looked down upon."

War veterans in the U.S. make up a large group impacted by suicide. In a recent study by the Department of Veteran Affairs, suicide rates were highest among veterans between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2019. Local community leaders say veterans usually carry the weight from the battlefield on their return to civilian life.

"Sometimes some of the deeper wounds are the ones that you can't see," said Roy Edgar Champion with the Hidalgo County Veteran Services Office. "The ones that people are battling that you can't treat. So. it's been festering for longer than you know."

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988.

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