988: A New Lifeline for People in Crisis


If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or emotional distress, there is a new way to get help: 988. This is the new three-digit dialing code that will connect you to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, a national network of trained counselors who are ready to listen and support you.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which has been saving lives since 2005. You can still reach the Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255, but now you have another option: just dial 988 from any phone in the United States.

When you call, text, or chat at 988, you will be connected to one of over 200 local crisis centers across the country. These centers have counselors who are experts in helping people who are feeling suicidal, depressed, overwhelmed, or hopeless. They will listen to your story, understand how you are feeling, provide support and guidance and connect you to resources if needed.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has been proven to be effective in reducing suicide risk and improving mental health outcomes. Many people who contact the Lifeline report feeling less suicidal, less depressed and more hopeful after talking to a counselor. The Lifeline also provides follow-up services and referrals to ensure that callers receive ongoing care and support.

You are not alone. If you need help or want to help someone else who is in crisis, call 988 today. You can also text or chat with Lifeline online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

You can also make a difference by joining the Lifeline network as a volunteer or paid employee. The local crisis centers are always looking for caring people who want to help others in their time of need. You will receive training and supervision from experienced professionals and become part of a community that saves lives every day. To find out how you can apply for a job or volunteer opportunity at your nearest crisis center visit samhsa.gov/988-jobs.

To learn more about how the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline works and how it impacts people’s lives visit our website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/learn-more/988-suicide-crisis-lifeline/. There you will find information on:

  • The history and implementation of 988
  • The impact and effectiveness of the Lifeline
  • The process and experience of contacting the Lifeline
  • The resources and support available for Veterans, Service Members and their loved ones
  • The ways to support your local crisis center

Remember: if you or someone you know is in crisis call 988 now. Help is available 24/7.

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