MADISON, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Earlier this month, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced the addition of American Sign Language (ASL) services to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to have an ASL interpreter they can speak with by clicking the ASL Now button on 988lifeline.org.
The addition comes with the acknowledgment that mental health resources are needed for all people. Crisis Services Coordinator Caroline Crehan-Neumann says, “We know that people who have different abilities are not excluded from having mental health, substance use or suicidal crises, we have gotten a lot of questions just across the nation and in Wisconsin. How are we going to reach people who need mental health and substance use and suicidal crisis help who may have additional barriers or challenges? And so, this is a very welcome announcement.”
Crehan-Neumann adds that in the coming months and years ahead, there are plans to remove additional barriers at the state and federal levels.