Science

Florida mother raises awareness for suicide and mental health crisis lifeline

Hunter Haskins was an all-around athlete, college student, and beloved son. But a year ago, his mother, Kelly Haskins, got a call from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida informing her that her son had died by suicide.

“That’s when our world ended,” Kelly Haskins told CBS News. The 18-year-old’s family saw no warning signs.

“He died after failing a math test,” said Kelly Haskins. “It broke my heart.”

Kelly Haskins believes the new nationwide 988 Suicide and Crisis lifeline could have saved Hunter Haskins’ life. Unlike the 10-digit hotline number, 988 is easy to remember — the mental health equivalent of 911.

The latest data shows that call volume, including text and chat, jumped 32% in September 2022 compared to the same month last year, before 988 numbers were introduced.

“We know Americans are hurting, and now they are calling,” Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra told CBS News.

Becerra said the Biden administration has directed more than $430 million to help fund the state’s programs. But, he said, “the federal government doesn’t operate it. It requires each state to own 988.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, only five states—California, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, and Virginia—have permanent 988 funding.

Kelly Haskins texted what felt like a conversation with a counselor.

“In the end, I was really happy with the conversation,” she said.

Now, she is trying to put 988 stickers on the laptops of every high school and college student.

“Just trying to do something positive. And trying to save a life,” she said. “that’s my goal.”


If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal ideation, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about mental health care resources and support, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) helpline Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email can go. info@nami.org,

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