Intrado’s 988 Innovation Ensures Callers in Crisis Reach Local Mental Health Support
Intrado Empowers the Mental Health Community with Advanced Georouting Following Successful Proof of Concept in Coordination with SAMHSA, FCC, and the 988 Network Administrator
LONGMONT, Colo., Oct. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Intrado Life & Safety (“Intrado”), a global leader in public safety solutions, is proud to unveil its 988 georouting solution, marking a monumental leap forward in effective mental health crisis intervention. Developed as a proof of concept in coordination with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the 988 administrator, as well as industry partners, Intrado’s solution improves the speed and accuracy of reaching local assistance for those in dire need, while protecting their privacy.
The urgency of addressing mental health challenges in the U.S. cannot be overstated. In 2020, alarming statistics revealed one death by suicide occurs every eleven minutes, spotlighting suicide as a predominant cause of death among individuals aged 10 to 34. These data emphasize the critical necessity for immediate and effective interventions.
Intrado recognized early on that improving how 988 calls are routed would enhance the speed and accuracy of reaching local assistance. Currently, calls to 988 are routed by the caller’s area code, rather than actual caller location, which has resulted in a significant number of calls to 988 routing to a distant crisis call center. Given these challenges and leveraging our extensive experience in 911 spanning four decades, Intrado was approached to define a solution that improves 988 service. The solution we bring to the table is a testament to the trust, reliability, and precision that define Intrado’s legacy.
Seamlessly integrating with established wireless technology, Intrado’s 988 georouting solution utilizes existing 911 technology and architecture, which avoids the cost of developing new infrastructure, reduces the cost to service providers, and applies the exceptional reliability of 911 to the 988 context. Using cell tower location only, Intrado overlays static wire center boundaries to create a “destination code” representing the nearest crisis call center, which is relayed to the 988 administrator. This synergy of innovation and reliability exemplifies Intrado’s commitment to enhancing public safety through technology.
“Intrado takes immense pride in pioneering solutions that make a genuine difference in public safety. The launch of our 988 georouting solution is a testament to that dedication. We’re not only proud but also deeply honored to be part of this work. While technology forms its foundation, the essence of this initiative touches something far more profound. As we like to say at Intrado, protecting our communities and the public in their most vulnerable moments is work worth doing,” said Matt Carter, Chief Executive Officer, Intrado.
Congress’s establishment in 2020 of the 988 short code for reaching the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was groundbreaking. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, offers 24/7, free, and confidential support for those experiencing a mental health crisis. The first half of 2023 alone saw the 988 Lifeline route over 1.22 million calls, underscoring its pivotal role in crisis management.
On September 28th, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel issued letters to the wireless industry that “encouraged wireless carriers and industry associations to take the necessary steps to identity and develop a 988 georouting solution that could be deployed in wireless networks nationwide.” Intrado is eager to work with all carriers and the 988 administrator in realizing this goal.
Looking to the future, Intrado holds a firm vision of a world where timely mental health support is within everyone’s reach. We are working toward a day when no individual in North America feels alone in their darkest hour—where a lifeline awaits every call. Our dedication to achieving this is unwavering.
For more information, visit intrado.com/988
Intrado is a global leader in public safety, providing software systems and services to the public safety community worldwide. With over forty years of experience in enabling emergency communications, Intrado delivers market-leading solutions that connect those in need with those who can best help them. Intrado’s technology-driven solutions are designed to be robust, resilient, intuitive, and insightful, ensuring that emergency responders can quickly and effectively provide assistance when it is needed most. Intrado’s mission is to save lives by improving public safety outcomes. For more information, visit www.intrado.com.