Trinity Health System urges the Ohio Valley to remember three life-saving numbers: 988.

These are the numbers that make up the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which was officially implemented nearly a month ago after a three-year joint effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a direct line to crisis-trained counselors who are then able to immediately correlate care to the person in crisis and pinpoint care in their location,” Marcie Sabo, MSN, RN, PMHN-BC, Director of Behavioral Health Services, at Trinity Health System, said. “This assists first responders and our emergency department with the instant knowledge and specific information regarding the person in crisis.”

Through its Behavioral Health Services, Trinity Health System is ready to assist and minister to all those who are experiencing mental health crises and struggles.

“There’s many other services in the Jefferson County area that can say, ‘Hey, here’s a counselor, let’s set you up with an outpatient appointment,’” Wendy Ralston, clinical manager, Behavioral Health Services, at Trinity Health System, told WTOV9 in a recent interview. “Or, ‘This is something where you should go to the emergency room, and we can further evaluate you so you’re in a safe environment.'”

Trinity Health System’s Behavioral Health Services has 16-bed acute psychiatric inpatient care for adults 18 and over.

“We also serve people suffering with addiction,” Sabo said. “We provide an eight-bed inpatient detox service. We also provide a Residential Support Unit for crisis stabilization for Mental Health and Addiction Services.”

Trinity Health System’s outpatient services include intensive outpatient programs for mental health and addiction, including relapse prevention and aftercare. Trinity Health System has licensed therapists who provide individual counseling as well.

“We also provide employee’s assistance programs,” Sabo added. “We offer medication management and behavioral health services provided by our outpatient nurse practitioner.”

But it all begins with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. 988 is not only easy to remember, it’s open to all those who find themselves in a dark place, whether it’s suicidal ideation, addiction, or depression.

“This 988 is huge,” Ralston said. “We see on average 19 deaths per month in Jefferson County… I think we’re going to see suicide rates go down drastically.”

“I am glad there is acknowledgement,” Sabo added. “However, I still believe ‘we as a society’ have a lot of work to do. The more support we have legislatively will continue to strengthen that support throughout the community.”

The Behavioral Medicine Department is located on the second floor at Trinity Medical Center East, 380 Summit Ave. in Steubenville. A diagnostic assessment for admission to one of the outpatient programs or the crisis stabilization unit can be initiated by calling 740-283-7882. For detoxification services, please call 740-283-7024. For more information on Trinity Health System’s Behavioral Health Services, please click here.

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