1: The United States of Crisis by Lemonada Media

1: The United States of Crisis

from Call For Help

by Lemonada Media

Published: Tue Aug 16 2022

Show Notes

For far too long, the United States has put mental healthcare on the back burner. Through enormous advocacy and the initiation and rollout of the 988 hotline, a theoretical lifeline is now at the fingertips of every American. But in a country with a deep history of criminalizing mental health, will 988 live up to its potential? Today, Stephanie explores how 988 came to be, along with all the promise and peril it carries. Weekly special correspondent Zak Williams shares his personal mental health journey, how stigma impacted his father, Robin Williams, and how the actor’s death inspired him to become a mental health advocate. We also meet Congressman Seth Moulton, mental health advocate Keris Myrick, Executive Director of the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline John Draper, and Director of the Sozosei Foundation Melissa Beck.


Get to Know 988

Learn about your state’s plan for funding 988.



Email your representatives and sign a petition to request crisis services that are unique to your state and your community.


988 Policy

Dig into policy documents, resources and much more information.


Listen to UBU

Keris Myrick’s podcast Unapologetically Black Unicorns.


Watch Zak’s Documentary

To learn more about Zak’s mental health journey and advocacy, you can watch the Oprah and Prince Harry’s documentary series “The Me You Can’t See”.


Call for Help is presented by Sozosei Foundation: A catalyst for ideas that nurture creative solutions for healthier communities. Learn more at SozoseiFoundation.org.

The Jed Foundation is a non-profit organization that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults. Visit JedFoundation.org for more information.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization. Learn more at nami.org.

The Just Trust is a group of funds one hundred percent dedicated to advancing criminal justice reform, state-by-state and across the country. Visit TheJustTrust.org to learn more.


Call for Help is a Lemonada original, presented by Sozosei Foundation. Hosting and story-editing were done by Stephanie Wittels Wachs. Our producers are Alie Kilts and Alexa Lim. Tess Novotny is our associate producer. Natasha Jacobs is our engineer and sound designer. Music is by Xander Singh with additional music by Natasha Jacobs. Naomi Barr is our fact checker. Executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Zak Williams and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Special thanks to Chrystal Genesis and Jackie Danziger for additional support.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter and Instagram at @wittelstephanie. Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.

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