THOMAS BLOOM RASKIN ACT PROVIDES MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY
BY PHONE TO ALL MARYLANDERS
June 22, 2021
By the time you read this, mental health therapy will be available in Maryland by calling 211. Beginning July 1, trained and certified mental health providers will be on the other end of the line. Callers' risk of crisis and suicidality will be gauged by caring professionals, and those who voluntarily call will have the option of continued support, and regular check-ins via phone, text or chat.
The act, which was passed by legislators from both sides of the aisle, was created in memory of the son of U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, who died by suicide on New Year's Eve. In his last note to his family, Tommy Raskin wrote "Please forgive me. My illness won today."
Not only will callers receive immediate care, they will be connected with crisis services should the phone triage indicate that the mental health challenge has reached a dangerous point. From when COVID-19 started making headlines until March 2021, Maryland crisis hotlines received over 20 thousand calls, more than half characterized as a call for suicide prevention help. This represents a doubling of the number of calls for mental health help in the prior 15 months.
ARE YOU FINDING IT "HARD TO BE HUMAN?"
There is help for Marylanders by calling 211.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact Maryland’s crisis hotline by calling 2-1-1 and pressing option 1 or texting 898-211. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for those in crisis or those looking to help someone else: 1-800-273-8255. The Crisis Text Line offers emotional crisis support at 741741.