Legislation Regarding the 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Public Act 22-47 AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH was signed into law May 23rd.  It includes language specific to emergency telecommunications including:

DESPP, in collaboration with the Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Children and Families and Public Health, shall develop a plan to incorporate mental health, behavioral health and substance use disorder diversion into PSAP procedures.

The plan shall include but not be limited to:

  • Recommendations for staffing PSAPs with licensed providers of behavioral health, mental health and substance use disorder services
  • Transferring 9-1-1 calls made by callers who require mental health, behavioral health or substance use disorder services to responders other than law enforcement, to better target the services the caller may need;
  • Requiring PSAPs to coordinate with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services during the transition from 2-1-1 Infoline to 9-8-8 (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).
  • Developing protocols for PSAPs to transfer 9-1-1 calls to the 9-8-8 line when the 9-8-8 line is operational;
  • Establishing training standards to respond to 9-1-1 callers who may require mental health, behavioral health or substance use disorder services;
  • Collecting data to evaluate the effectiveness of procedures used to divert 9-1-1 callers who may need such services to the appropriate crisis hotline or services provider; and
  • Evaluating the implementation of procedures by other states.

Not later than January 1, 2023, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall report, to the General Assembly relating to public safety, public health and children the development of the plan, recommendations for implementation, and the timeline of the plan.

Informational Resources

National Association of State 911 Administrators (NENA) Memo "What 9-1-1 Needs to Know"

Informational Presentation on 9-8-8 from DCF, DMHAS, and United Way of Connecticut