What is 988?

If you or someone you know is struggling, speak with someone and get support today. You are not alone.

In the US, everyone knows who to call when there is a medical emergency – 911. The number is short, so it is easy to remember and quick to dial. As of July 2022, the lifeline for mental health crises and emergencies has taken on a similar approach by shortening its number from 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to 988.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support to people across the country. The professionals on the phone can assist someone in distress by providing support and resources. The 988 Lifeline states “We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness”.

It’s important to note that 988 is not just for those that are currently in emotional distress or experiencing a mental health crisis. The Lifeline can be considered a tool for people that want to learn more about supporting loved ones, peers, clients, and more. Professionals can learn tips and tricks to use in their fields, parents and caregivers can learn new ways to communicate with their children, teens can learn how to check in with their friends in meaningful ways, and so much more.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is meant to be accessible to everyone. If you are more inclined to text than call, you can send 988 any message to start a conversation by text. The Lifeline offers call, text, and chat services in Spanish, and can connect you with translation services for more than 240 additional languages. There is a 988 ASL Videophone service available for those who are hearing impaired. If the caller is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and would like to speak with an LGBTQIA+ trained crisis counselor, they can dial 988, then press 3, or text ‘PRIDE’ to 988. For more information on the Lifeline, visit their website at www.988lifeline.org.

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