The New 988 Number

The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline


On July 16, 2022, the new 988 suicide and crisis lifeline goes live. In an effort to combat the growing mental health crisis, Congress designated a new dialing code in 2020. The code is expected to go live this summer. It will be operated through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which is already in existence.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2020, there was a death by suicide every 11 minutes in the United States. Suicide is a leading cause of death for youth and young adults aged 10-34.

If you are experiencing a mental health disorder it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

What Is 988?

988 is the three-digit dialing code that people can use when they are having a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts. It will connect individuals directly to counselors with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

Individuals who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, mental health disorders, and substance use-related distress can dial the three-digit code for help. Loved ones can also call the number for help if they believe that someone they know needs assistance.

Are the Counselors Trained?

As noted by SAMHSA, callers will be connected to a trained crisis counselor. The counselor will listen to the person and offer support and guidance about the resources available. 

Is 988 a Suicide Line?

While 988 is available to those experiencing suicidal thoughts, it is more than a suicide line. The number will serve anyone who is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis.

Is 988 Available Across the Nation?

Beginning July 16, 2022, the three-digit lifeline will be available nationwide. A person must have a “telephone, cellular or internet services” available in order to use the service, but it will be available to everyone across the country.