The National Suicide Prevention Hotline has made a simple change that might save many lives.
The Suicide Prevention Hotline previously reached at 1-800-273-8255, has opted to add the much more easily remembered three-digit sequence of 988 to their phone lists. In addition to this new number, the hotline has officially changed its name to the “988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline”. The lifeline’s new number of 988 may be available to contact now in some areas. However, the nationwide addition will not occur until tomorrow, July 16th, 2022.
According to 988lifeline.org, the official site of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems affect them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally.
The lifeline’s network of over 200 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005 and has been proven to be effective. It’s the counselors at these local crisis centers who answer the contacts the Lifeline receives every day. Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.
These centers are looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees. Find your opportunity: samhsa.gov/988-jobs.
For ways to support your local Lifeline network crisis center, visit the Crisis Centers page here.
To learn about the impact of the Lifeline, visit the new By the Numbers page.
To learn about what happens when you call, text, or chat with the Lifeline, click here.
To learn more about the history of 988, visit here.
To learn how Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the Lifeline, has been supporting states’ implementation planning for 988 through grants, check here.
If you’re a Veteran, Service Member or loved one and want to know more about how 988 will affect the Veterans Crisis Line, click here.