988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Beginning July 16, 2022, 988 will be the new three-digit dialing code connecting people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where compassionate, accessible care and support is available for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress—whether that is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
The 988 dialing code will be available nationwide for call (multiple languages), text or chat (English only) on July 16, 2022. Until then, those experiencing a mental health-related or suicidal crisis, or those looking to help a loved one through a crisis, should continue to call the Lifeline at its current number, 1-800-273-8255.
The Lifeline accepts calls, texts, and chats from anyone who needs support for a suicidal, mental health and/or substance use crisis.
Moving to 988 does not mean the 1-800-273-8255 number goes away. After July 16, 2022, using either number will get people to the same services. In the end, 988 is an easier-to-remember way to access a strengthened and expanded network of crisis call centers.
Starting July 16, 2022, when calling 988, callers first hear a greeting message while their call is routed to the local Lifeline network crisis center (based on the caller’s area code). A trained crisis counselor will answer the phone, listen to the caller, understand how their problem is affecting them, provide support, and share resources if needed. If the local crisis center is unable to take the call, the caller will be automatically routed to a national backup crisis center. The Lifeline provides live crisis center phone services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide translation services in over 250 additional languages for people who call 988.
For the answers to more frequently asked questions check out 988 Frequently Asked Questions