May 31, 2022
On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) will be replaced with a simple, easy-to-remember three-digit number (988). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $105 million to 54 states and territories in advance of this date to help states meet the growing demand for mental health care. For those in crisis, 988 will serve as a universal entry point so that no matter where patients live, they can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst preteens and adults ages 25-34 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 988 is more than just an easy-to-remember number—it’s a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress – whether that is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
The 988 dialing code is just a first step toward strengthening and transforming crisis care in this country. Over time, the vision for 988 is to have additional crisis services available in communities across the nation, much the way emergency medical services work. The 988 number will make mental health help more accessible for individuals in need, especially during the pandemic.
For more information about the transition click here. If you’re interested in helping respond to people in crisis apply here to become a crisis counselor.