Emhoff visits 988 call center to highlight mental health during the holidays
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff sought to highlight the 988 mental health hotline before the holidays with a visit Friday to a Community Crisis Service Center.
The Biden administration announced $130 million in grants for the 988 hotline, funds from bipartisan gun control legislation the president signed into law in June.
“The holidays are difficult for many of us across the country, and we all saw the tragic news about tWitch,” Emhoff said in downtown Hyattsville, Maryland.
Stephen Boss aka twitch died by suicide on Tuesday at the age of 40 years. He was a DJ and co-executive producer of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and a well-known dancer.
“I know this job can’t be easy,” Emhoff told crisis center employees. “This is not a red state or a blue state or a political issue. This issue of mental health and suicide affects everyone.”
The attorney and husband of Vice President Harris also emphasized that calling 988 is fast, taking just 32 seconds on average.
“Instead of calling 911 for emergencies, we need everyone to know that it’s 988 for any issues related to mental health or suicidal ideation or those feelings of being alone,” he said.
Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Andrea Palm and Mental Health and Substance Use Assistant Secretary Miriam Delphin-Rittman joined Emhoff for the visit.
Emhoff has also recently focused on combating anti-Semitism in the US and last week hosted a White House roundtable amid a recent surge in hateful rhetoric against the Jewish people.