Wow! I am happy to give T-Mobile huge props for this. What is this? This is T-Mobile being the first carrier to implement the 988 number to directly reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. This is excellent news!
I am beyond happy that mental health is making mainstream news now. There has always been a stigma behind this part of healthcare. It was mind boggling when I got out of the hospital for my OCD at the lack of infrastructure for mental healthcare.
When I left the hospital I was told I needed to go to a day program for what they thought was anxiety only. I thought it was a good idea at the time so I went ahead and signed up. Well, after a little bit of time went by I decided not to go and based on my research it was for good reason. Talk therapy for anxiety is not the correct treatment for OCD. In fact, it can actually be a reassurance seeking exercise which is a compulsion.
I called the Doctor that I was referred to in the hospital to schedule an appointment. It rang until an answering machine picked up. I had to leave a message for a call back in 24 hours. I was floored, I just got out of the hospital for a major OCD attack and I couldn’t even talk to a person right away.
About a day later I finally received my call back. The doctor said that because I decided to not attend the day program that he was not going to see me. Once again, I was floored! What was I going to do now? I had to scramble to find someone to support me during my crisis. I started to feel very, very alone.
Fast forward, I ended up finding a doctor that could see me quickly. He helped me a ton at the beginning and I am glad to have found him. I still think it took too long and way too much research on my part to find a doctor that would see me.
This entire story leads me to this. People with mental health issues need access to care, and sometimes they need it quickly. I know this new number calls the National Suicide Prevention Hotline but having something that is easily remembered is key when someone is in a life and death situation. Seconds count and T-Mobile activating an emergency phone number for this is amazing. I feel like mental health is beginning to be taken seriously. I was not suicidal at all but when I was in the hospital I witnessed a few people that were. Having this quick access to someone to talk to can save someone’s life and I give T-Mobile props for being the first major carrier to do this.