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Data shows Michigan's 988 hotline has excellent response rate

Michigan's 988 hotline has a 90% response rate
Michigan's 988 hotline has a 90% response rate 01:55

(CBS DETROIT) - Michigan's suicide prevention hotline has some of the best response rates in the country, according to Vibrant Emotional Health.

"We have a 90% in-state answer rate, and our average speed to answer was 17 seconds," said Krista Hausermann, a section manager for Crisis and Stabilization Services within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

On average, Hausermann says that Michigan is seeing between 7,500 and 8,800 calls a month. So far this year, April has seen the highest number of calls — around 9,000 — to the hotline. 

"I think that service is just very important because when somebody goes into crisis, they don't want to schedule help in two weeks. They need help now. And that's what 988 provides," said Hausermann. 

Wendy Martinez Farmer, who works with 988 in strategy grants and clinical standards, said studies of the service show just how effective it can be. 

"Many studies have shown that individuals who've contacted the line feel less depressed, more hopeful and feel better about seeking services after they talk to one of the call takers," she said. "So it's not only a line that's getting a lot of volume, but it's certainly one that, you know, we see some really important effectiveness."

Martinez Famer said that, down the line, she would like to see the hotline better serve minority groups.

"Looking at maybe who's not calling who needs to — and how can we engage them and get them comfortable reaching out for care?" she said. "Reaching out is never easy, and we want to we want to make it as easy for possible as possible for individuals." 

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