MCF Urges Action on Funding 988


Since its launch in 2022, the 988 line has been an invaluable resource for people with behavioral health challenges and their families.  The benefits are numerous.  People can call 988 to speak to highly trained professionals who can offer emotional support, resource connection, and crisis intervention support.  988 has provided an alternative to calling 911 for behavioral health crises and many calls are resolved without the need for assistance from first responders such as EMTs or police.

Calls to 988 are up 50% and texts to the service are up 1400%.  Marylanders need this service. It truly can make the difference between life and death.

But 988 needs to be funded at levels that will be sustainable and allow it to grow as the needs of Maryland families change and expand.  Senate Bill 0974 sponsored by Senator Guy Guzzone and House Bill 933 sponsored by Delegates Feldmark, Atterbeary, Bartlett, Cullison, Fair, Guzzone, Hill, Hornberger, Andre Johnson, Steve Johnson, Kaiser, Lehman, Robbyn Lewis, McComas, Pena-Melnyk, Simpson, Terrasa, and Ziegler propose adding a 25 cent telecom fee to help fund 988 long-term.  The Maryland Coalition of Families supports this legislation and will offer testimony when it comes before the Health and Government Operations Committee at the end of February.

If you are interested in supporting the legislation with verbal or written testimony, please visit our Policy and Legislative Advocacy page to learn how to create an account with the Maryland General Assembly.  This is the first step to submitting testimony.  If you need assistance, please feel free to reach out to Ashley Tauler, MCF’s Policy & Advocacy Associate.  For more information about efforts to ensure long-term, sustainable funding for 988, visit