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This web-based tool provides summary information on studies about mental health emergency hotlines in the United States. This information—including hotline name and modality and study design, sample size, population, and findings—could be valuable to policymakers and administrators as they consider investments in new call centers in the ramp-up for 988, the national mental health emergency hotline number that will go live in July 2022.

In their inventory, RAND researchers identified and coded peer-reviewed articles on mental health emergency hotlines in the United States published over the past ten years (2012–2021). They conceptualized mental health hotlines as telephone, text message, chat, and other internet-based communication systems that offered timely support and resources for individuals in mental health emergencies—meaning that the individuals expressed acute needs pertaining to mental health concerns, such as depressive or anxiety symptoms or psychological distress.

The researchers were particularly interested in information regarding (1) who tends to be reached and not reached by hotlines in the United States, (2) typical caller volume and engagement, (3) barriers to and facilitators of successful implementation, and (4) the most common responses and outcomes observed from calls.

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This research was sponsored by the Sozosei Foundation and conducted by RAND Health Care.

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