Evelyn Cruz, liaison for Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, revealed a plan to roll out a new three-digit suicide prevention phone code for mental health victims during the February 23rd Community Board 5 (CB5) general board meeting, held via Webex.
The new phone code, 988, which will be open to the public in July, aims to help emotionally-distressed individuals, Cruz stated.
“During COVID, we saw a lot of mental health crises,” Cruz said. She also stated that all phone providers would be able to direct all mental health victims to the code, which will connect them to a community-based organization for assistance.
Velázquez’s office will also combat gun violence with the HR6575 bill. This bill will aid in the fight against gun violence by keeping illegal guns off the streets, specifically in East New York and Cypress Hills.
“We know gun violence continues to be a pain in our neighborhood and our city,” Cruz said. “Getting guns off the streets shouldn’t be punitive. We need to strike a balance. We need to bring resources into our neighborhood.”