988 is the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), and is available across the United States.
When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.
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.
Who answers your calls? Lifeline workers are trained volunteers of all ages. When you call the Lifeline, you will be connected to a crisis center in your area. You may call the Lifeline to talk about everything from issues with drinking and drugs to problems with your boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, or others. You can call the Lifeline if you are thinking about suicide or if you’re worried about a friend or loved one who is depressed.
Others you can talk to. Lifeline volunteers can tell you where you can get help after your phone call. They can also tell you about mental health resources in your community, like support groups and crisis outreach teams. You aren’t alone.
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Dial or text 988 from any phone for free 24/7 support.
Special Thanks: Donna Noonan, MPH, CHES, Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator