All New Yorkers know 311 and 911 are the numbers to call for issues (311) and emergencies (911). But, starting today, dialing 988 will connect you to a combined mental health, suicide prevention and substance use disorder response team. This new 988 number is part of a nationwide initiative to better address those needs without always involving the police.

Calls to 988 from local area codes will route to NYC Well, a 24/7 hotline, chat and text service where mental health professionals provide support and offer referrals for treatments and resources. If needed, the hotline staff can dispatch a Mobile Crisis Team, which includes mental health professionals, to an urgent but “non-emergency” situation. But those units only go out between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

988 is intended to address issues that are not criminal justice issues, but still require professional assistance.

Anyone can call 988 and a person from NYC Well, operated by Vibrant Emotional Health, will answer the call, listen to concerns and provide guidance about how to handle the situation, share resources or possibly dispatch members of the Mobile Crisis Unit — when available.

On scene, a counselor may speak to a person from the other side of the bedroom door, for example, or help them go to a clinic safely, and the team members may also stay in touch with a caller or concerned friend or family member for a period of time after the crisis to make sure they’re getting the support they need.

A huge hitch with this roll-out of 988 is phone technical – people who live in New York City and use cellphones that don’t have a local area code will not be routed to NYC Well, but to the local hotline as the area code indicates.

That means if you got your phone in Idaho, your 988 call is going to a mental health team in Boise…

Let’s hope they get this rediculous situation sorted out, but if you call 911, you can always stress this is a mental health crisis, and the operators will connect you to 988 resources.

The Studio Museum Rises

The Studio Museum of Harlem has now risen far beyond its neighbors. Admittedly the number of floors is low (because much of the space is for displaying/storing art), but the building is soaring above 125th Street between Lenox and ACP.

See Wax Print, Tonight

Click here.

This ImageNation x FDBA program is co-presented with Harlem Needle Arts.

About the Film:
Wax Print traces the vast and multi-stranded global history of a fabric that has become an iconic symbol of Africa and her children worldwide. This beautiful, transnational two-year journey has taken director Aiwan Obinyan around the world, in search of African wax prints and the untold story of how wax print fabric came to symbolize a continent, its people, and their struggle for freedom.
The film brings forth issues of fast fashion and mass-produced wax print copies, while detailing an Indonesian, English, and Dutch history of the fabric itself and its significance for pan-African identities. As seen in Batik and Kente techniques, bright bold patterns and colors become a significant part of the culture, as well as the identities of the African diaspora that have kept the heritage alive. With names like “The Ungrateful Husband,” which is worn by women to shame their disloyal husbands, each wax print has a pattern and identity embodied in the cloth, and an origin story that is then accepted and integrated into the culture by consumers.

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