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Insights from the Sozosei Summit Solution Lab: Understanding 988 and Mental Health Crisis Care

The recent Sozosei Summit Solution Lab brought together leading experts in the field to delve into the intricacies of mental health crisis care and the utilization of the 988 hotline. In this inaugural convening, held on March 1, 2024, panelists explored recent research findings aimed at informing the creation of a robust and human-centered crisis care continuum across the nation.

Watch the Sozosei Summit Solution Lab Video Recording Here:

Featuring distinguished panelists, including:

  • Daniel Fichter, Founder of CrisisCrowd

  • Stephanie Brooks Holliday, PhD, Senior Behavioral Scientist at RAND

  • Monica Johnson, MA, LPC, Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 988 and Behavioral Health Crisis Coordinating Office

  • Ted Lutterman, Senior Director of Government & Commercial Research at NRI

  • Eric Rafla-Yuan, MD, 988 Accessibility and Equity Working Group Chair, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Panel Moderator)

Key Takeaways: Dr. Rafla-Yuan highlighted several key takeaways from the discussion:

1. Increased Utilization of 988: There has been substantial and increasing use of the 988 hotline across various demographics.

2. Decrease in Involuntary Interventions: Contrary to concerns, the increased use of 988 has not led to an increase in involuntary interventions. In fact, there has been a relative decrease.

3. Expansion of Crisis Services: States and counties are adopting diverse approaches to provide crisis services, with a significant focus on expanding mobile crisis and crisis stabilization capacities post the launch of 988.

4. Variability in Crisis Counselor Experiences: There is notable variability in the experiences and protocols of crisis counselors across different 988 centers. Further support, training, and active involvement in policy discussions are necessary to enhance their effectiveness.

5. Importance of Local Leadership: Local leadership plays a crucial role in bringing stakeholders together to develop integrated crisis services that are connected to 988.

6. Geo-Routing Updates: Anticipated geo-routing updates later this year aim to improve connections to local care while safeguarding privacy.


The insights shared at the Sozosei Summit Solution Lab underscore the importance of continued efforts to decriminalize mental illness and establish a comprehensive crisis care continuum nationwide. By addressing key findings and recommendations, stakeholders can work towards a more inclusive and effective mental health support system.


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