By Mia Kerner
On Saturday, July 16, the National Suicide Hotline will be as easily accessable as the nationwide emergency number 911.
Since 1968, 911 has been the only established 3-digit emergency number in the United States. Now, the National Suicide Hotline has been granted the same level of urgency with their revised phone number: 988.
The previous national hotline (1-800-273-8255) will remain in operation, with the new, simplified lifeline operating 24/7 for all who need it. Over 200 crisis centers are standing by to answer all calls, no matter the circumstance.
“Hope has a new number and it is 9-8-8,” stated President & CEO of Vibrant, Kimberly Williams in news release.
“This historic transition to 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline will promote help seeking and increase awareness and accessibility to this life-saving resource,” Williams said. “The 988 Lifeline is a vital mental health safety net for all in this country.
According to 988lifeline.org, “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 are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.”
Whether someone is on their last resort or in need of someone to talk to, these lines are open and available.
Crisis centers are always looking for caring volunteers and paid employees to help those in crisis. To apply and receive complementary training, please visit samhsa.gov/988-jobs.
For ways to support your local Lifeline network crisis center, visit NSH’s 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.
The National Suicide Prevention Network has provided the resources above with the intention of helping those in need, providing comfort to the weary and offering guidance to anyone suffering from a mental health crisis. Call or text 988 to get help.