The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Suicide lifeline

988 — free, confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the united states.

Research indicates that suicide hotlines save lives and help mitigate economic burden. One such hotline is undergoing a multi-phase transformation to address our nation’s need for a comprehensive mental health crisis support system.

 “We’re able to provide emotional support, help them create a plan for themselves, and then connect them to the behavioral health resource that helps match where their need is.”  — Laura Clark,  PRS’ CrisisLink director

In July 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline adopted a new name and three-digit number. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline reflects its broader support mission for anyone with concerns about suicide, mental health, emotional distress, and/or substance use via a telephone call, text, and chat.

988 Fast Facts

  • 988 is available via landline, cell phone, and voice-over-the-internet device.
  • 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) is still functional.
  • 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365.
  • It connects those who are experiencing mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis to trained crisis counselors.
  • Translation services for over 150 languages, including Spanish, are available.
  • This is the first step in a multi-phase continuum of care that offers a mobile crisis and stabilization support system.

Things To Consider

  • 988 is not 911.
  • 988 offers connectivity with a trained professional, but you may not have immediate access to community resources.
  • The hotline routes are area code-routed, not geolocation, which means that Virginians with out-of-state phone numbers likely won’t be connected to the two call centers specifically assigned to Virginia, PRS in Northern Virginia and Frontier Health in Johnson City, Tennessee,  — federal officials are working to address this issue.
  • Frontline agents typically aren’t licensed clinicians, but they are well-trained frontline agents.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

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