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The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Portage Path Celebrates One Year Answering Calls through National 988 Line

Portage Path is an important and affordable mental health resource for UA students.
Graphic+created+by+Emily+Price.+Some+depression+symptoms+listed+here+were+from+the+Mayo+Clinic%3A+https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mayoclinic.org%2Fdiseases-conditions%2Fdepression%2Fsymptoms-causes%2Fsyc-20356007
Emily Price
Graphic created by Emily Price. Some depression symptoms listed here were from the Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned to the three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. It is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and locally answered by Portage Path Behavioral Health trained professionals.

When a person in Summit County calls the 988 Lifeline, they are connected to a trained counselor at Portage Path’s Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) day or night, 365 days a year. Across the country, more than 200 crisis centers are answering calls to provide support to those in emotional crisis.

The line offers specialized options for veterans, Spanish-speaking people, and LGBTQIA+ callers by selecting prompted options.

“The 988 hotline is advertised to students and is included on their student magnet,” says Emily Harrison, Marketing Director of Portage Path Behavioral Health. The hotline is available to anyone, anywhere at any time for free.”

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Since the launch of the new 988 call number, the local Summit County Lifeline has received 4,774 calls. Of those calls, less than 1.28% required immediate intervention from Portage Path’s Crisis Response Teams. Many individuals have found that by calling in and having someone to talk with, they are able to develop and act on a safety plan reducing the need to have an immediate and high-risk intervention with first responders.

With the inception of the Lifeline, the state of Ohio has seen tremendous growth in its infrastructure allowing the entirety of the state to have reduced wait times of 19 seconds compared to the national average of 35 seconds and a stronger connection with their local community.

If you are interested in supporting the 988 Lifeline, check out Portage Path’s annual KJ’s 5k on October 7th or contact Portage Path to request outreach materials.

Portage Path offers a variety of services for individuals seeking treatment, including Psychiatry, Medication Management/MOUD Treatment, Individual and Group Therapy, Co-occurring Treatment, Emergency Evaluation, Crisis Stabilization, Day Treatment, Case Management, Peer Support Services, On Site Primary Care, and an On-Site Pharmacy.

A sliding scale fee is available so that services are accessible for all. Additionally, there are free appointments at the Zip Clinic on Friday mornings. Harrison explained that The University of Akron’s counseling center faxes Portage Path referrals and gets them scheduled to be seen there.

“Everyone struggles with their mental well-being and your college years are nothing short of challenging,” says Harrison, “Help is available and Portage Path is here for you!”

If you or someone you know is struggling with your mental health or addiction, Portage Path can provide the help you need from a caring professional. You can call 330-253-3100 or go online to make an appointment today. If you are in crisis, call 988 to speak with a trained crisis intervention specialist 24/7.

For info about the Zip Clinic partnership: please contact Portage Path’s Medication Clinic Coordinator, Andrea at 330-253-3100, ext 1124.

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Emily Price served as Copy Editor in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. She served as editor-in-chief from June 2023 - October 2023.

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