Americans Are Prioritizing Mental Health, with New 988 Hotline There to Help

November 11, 2022

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Medical Xpress

A recent public perception poll shows broad support for mental health and suicide prevention but barriers to seeking help. Carried out by The Harris Poll, the survey found 94% of U.S. adults see suicide as a preventable public health issue and 83% want to learn how to help someone who is suicidal. Most respondents said they value mental and physical health equally, but many do not believe they are treated that way in the health care system. The poll also found most adults believe training and education for professionals would be most helpful for reducing suicide. For barriers to accessing care, nearly half pointed to cost. At the time of polling, the country had just transitioned to the three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which more than half of respondents had heard of. Overall, the results show the public is eager for a comprehensive approach to preventing suicide and promoting mental health, said Colleen Carr, director of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, which led the effort in collaboration with SPRC and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “I think that’s a really great place to be, and it’s incumbent on all of us to make sure that the moment is not lost and that real, tangible change is made, so five years from now we’re not talking about the same systemic barriers to accessing care,” she said.

Spark Extra! Take action to address the poll’s findings.