New Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been updated to a three-digit number, 988. This new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline will be available to everyone across the United States and will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

About the 988 Lifeline

The Department of Health and Human Services, through its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), made the critical investment to transition the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 10-digit number to an easy-to-remember 3-digit dialing code, 988. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been an essential free and confidential emotional support line for those of all ages in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Changing the former National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline will strengthen and expand the existing Lifeline network, providing the public with easier access to life-saving mental health services. Creating this 3-digit, universal entry point to needed crisis services has been considered the first step toward transforming crisis care in the United States.

988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors that help with the following mental health-related distresses:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Mental Health or substance use crisis, or
  • Any other form of emotional distress

People can utilize 988 through calling, text, or chat at No matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a trained crisis counselor.

The Need for 988

There has been a dire need for mental health support services, especially through the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide about every 11 minutes, with suicide being the leading cause of death for people ages 10-34. In addition to this, over 100,000 individuals died from drug overdoses from April 2020 to 2021.

988 is a network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers around the country. For more information, visit If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide or another crisis, please call, text, or chat 988.

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