Hope Has a New Number: 9-8-8
The lifeline, which also links to the Veterans Crisis Line, follows a three-year joint effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to put crisis care more in reach for people in need. This initiative is part of President Biden’s comprehensive strategy to address our nation’s mental health crisis and is identified by the U.S. Health and Human Services(HHS), Xavier Becerra, as a top priority at HHS.
As of July 16, 2022, people can now use a new, easy-to-remember, three-digit code (988) to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The change from a 10-digit code to 9-8-8 will provide easy access to crisis services for people with mental health and substance use issues and help reduce the stigma surrounding these conditions. The new 9-8-8 number is considered the 9-1-1 for mental health and substance use issues.
9-8-8 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. That could be:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Mental health or substance use crisis, or
- Any other kind of emotional distress
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, 9-8-8 provides 24/7 connection to confidential support. There is Hope. Just call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org
Check out the 988 Partner Toolkit, 988 Job Opportunities, and 988 Resources.