The mental health version of 911 is set to launch nationwide on July 16. The new national three-digit number — 988 — will make it easier for people in a mental health crisis to get the help they need without routing their calls through 911 public safety dispatchers. 988 will instead connect those individuals with dispatchers specially trained to respond to such situations.
In 2020, bipartisan legislation in Congress mandated the launch of the 988 emergency number but left financial support for staffing, phone lines, computer systems and other infrastructure up to the states.
But most states, including Texas, have not appropriated funds for the service.
Planning grants have been issued to identify needs going forward such as additional workforce, infrastructure in existing call centers and general assistance to meet demand.
The Legislature has requested a report from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission due Sept. 1 highlighting the needs to implement 988 and how it will affect existing infrastructure in the state. The report will also present strategies on how to improve the behavioral health crisis response in Texas and discuss sources of sustainable funding.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Technical Assistance Guide
The White House has released a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Technical Assistance Guide to make it easier for local governments to locate programs and resources for infrastructure projects.
The guide is organized by project type such as transportation, clean energy and power, high-speed internet, water, resilience, and environmental remediation. Each program includes a description, a list of eligible participants and information on how to get in touch.
Some programs offer hands-on, intensive planning and delivery support, while others are more self-directed resources and tools such as webinars and websites. Some of the initiatives listed in the guide assist with applying for and accessing federal funding, while others assist with planning, designing and building projects after funding has been secured.
To find funding opportunities as they are released, visit NACo’s BIL Funding Opportunities for Counties or TAC's Grant Opportunities webpage.
For more information, please contact Megan Molleur at (800) 456-5974.