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Morning Brief: Mental Health Hotline Makeover, BTS with Telescope Images, A Super Lit City Hall

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Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, July 18.

How are you doing, my friend? I know it’s early and you probably didn’t expect this after graduating from school, but I have a pop quiz for you.

What is the significance of the number “988”? 

If your guess was the new “national mental health crisis hotline”, you are exactly correct! Congrats (here’s your imaginary star). It went from a cumbersome 10-digit number to an easy-to-remember three-digit number for any time, any place crisis care just this past weekend.

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My colleague Robert Garrova brought it local for us Angelenos in his latest story about this new number. 

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a nonprofit based in Southern California, runs one of the state’s 13 call centers. According to Robert’s reporting, the organization expects 988 to lead to two-to three-fold increase in the volume of calls, chats and texts they already get. A spokesperson for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services says they are currently running the numbers on the weekend performance and they plan to release it today.

Did you know that according to a CDC survey, 37% of U.S. high school students have reported mental health struggles during the pandemic. Girls were twice as likely as boys to report feelings of sadness. And the highest rates were among students who said they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning. Can you imagine what it must look like for a larger set of people? For those outside of high school?

So what should you do in case you or someone you know needs some immediate tender loving care?

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You can call 988 to speak with a mental health professional. Check out the story for plenty of other things you can do to support yourself and others.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • If you, like me, were fascinated by the breathtaking images captured by the James Webb Telescope, here’s the inside story of how it all came together.
  • A Santa Ana Councilman is making the case for attacks against street vendors to be treated as hate crimes. The proposed law will be up for discussion in tomorrow’s Santa Ana City Council meeting.
  • Heads up: Starting this Wednesday at 10 p.m., a five-day repair project is going to narrow the San Gabriel River Bridge to three lanes on either side. Caltrans is advising folks to use the Metro Gold Line or the Metrolink San Bernardino Line to avoid delays.
  • An initiative that would have raised taxes on California’s millionaires to fund public health has been dropped, amid concerns about inflation. 
  • Big Pharma has lost interest in developing new antibiotics because of a central paradox: the more antibiotics you use, the more resistant bacteria become to them — so doctors are prescribing less and less of them. Experts say that only government intervention can help.
  • Has your spending been outpacing your savings lately? You may be experiencing what’s called “lifestyle creep”, but it’s not too late to turn things around.

Before You Go...The Top Three Tea with Me!

Jennifer Lopez performs a Selena medley with Los Dinos. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)
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Every Monday, I will bring you some news that I found interesting (and tea-worthy) on social media over the weekend. Let me know what you think! Shout out to our intern Armani Washington who helped us out with the tea this week. 

Lauren London on Angie Martinez’s IRL Podcast 

The social media trending topic I have are some words of wisdom from Lauren London, who was recently a guest on Angie Martinez IRL Podcast. Twitter listeners are loving the conversation covering multiple topics, including relationships. London spoke about ego-driven relationships and the grief she faced after losing her long-time partner Nipsey Hussle. If you haven’t already tuned in, listen on any podcast platform or watch it through The Angie Martinez Show on Youtube.

Light it Up, L.A.! 

Dodger fans it’s time to light up the city, oh wait, it looks like L.A. City Hall has beat you all to it. City Hall will be illuminated in blue until Tuesday night when the MLB All-Star game is played at Dodger Stadium. Make sure you all get your pictures of it before the game, this is not a sight you want to miss.

Could the fourth time be the charm for JLo? 

It is official, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck announced their marriage in Las Vegas on Saturday through the ‘On the JLo” Newsletter. The singer described her no-frills Little White Wedding Chapel ceremony as “The best possible wedding” and one that they “dreamed of long ago”.

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