Wednesday, September 27, 2023
PRS, a behavioral health nonprofit serving Northern Virginia which operates as the Regional Crisis Call Center for most of Virginia, has enhanced its offerings and outreach to the Northern Virginia Spanish speaking community. PRS has been able to broaden access to its crisis and suicide prevention services thanks to a grant from Washington Forrest Foundation.
“With the rise in our community’s mental health needs, we recognize that helping our diverse community access our services is critical to ensuring that we help more people in crisis,” said Joseph Getch, CEO of PRS. “We are now offering and disseminating materials and messages in Spanish so that this part of our community knows how to use and reach our crisis services. We will be translating our materials in more languages going forward.”
Through its CrisisLink program, PRS operates the mental health crisis 988 suicide and crisis lifeline, textline and chat for Northern Virginia and most of Virginia. The call center utilizes Language Line which was recently expanded by the US Health and Human Services and the 988 Lifeline Partners to include Spanish text and chat. Building on this, PRS translated its CrisisLink web page and printed resources into Spanish. PRS is also conducting outreach to Northern Virginia nonprofits and churches that serve the local Hispanic community to offer these resources. In addition, PRS is partnering with NBC4 and Telemundo on a public service campaign throughout Hispanic Heritage Month that informs the Hispanic and LatinX communities about how to get help.
If someone in crisis reaches out, PRS trained crisis workers evaluate their call, help deescalate the crisis when possible, and work collaboratively with local Community Services Boards, private providers and 911 centers to connect individuals to appropriate services. If the client speaks a different language, the crisis worker connects them with a language line to ensure they are understood. For Spanish speaking callers, there is also a dedicated Spanish Lifeline which can be accessed by dialing 988 and pressing 2. The 988 chat can be accessed via the 988 website 988lifeline.org/es/chat.
In an average month, PRS receives about 14,000 calls, 4,500 of those from Northern Virginia and the rest from all over the nation, and more than 6,000 chats and texts. Three percent of these calls and texts are in languages other than English.
PRS is a nonprofit helping those living with serious mental health issues and anyone who faces life crises achieve independence, self-sufficiency and safety. PRS provides people they serve with skill training and support to help them recover and rebuild their lives through a range of services including: Psychosocial Rehabilitation Day Program Services, Mental Health Outpatient, Mental Health Skills-Building, Individual Supported Employment, Peer Support Services, Coordinated Specialty Care and CrisisLink – a 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Center and Regional Crisis Call Center covering most of Virginia. For 24/7 support from CrisisLink, call 988. For 24/7 chat support, visit 988lifeline.org/chat. www.prsinc.org.