988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may be currently able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022.
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.
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.
Answer the call! These centers are looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees. You will receive training, so if you are a caring person who wants to help those in crisis, apply today. Find your opportunity: samhsa.gov/988-jobs
For ways to support your local Lifeline network crisis center, visit our Crisis Centers page here.
To learn about the impact of the Lifeline, visit our 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.
988 is not yet active across all communications access points in the United States. If you or someone you know is in crisis now, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or visit Vibrant Emotional Health’s Safe Space for digital resources.