Call for Help

Don't Wait. Call 988.

About 988

In 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s (1-800-273-8255) network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country.

On July 16, 2022, the U.S. will transition to using the 988-dialing code, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and expand the existing Lifeline.

What It Is

988 is an easy-to-remember number that can provide assistance during times of mental distress. Just as 911 is the number to call when you’re in need of immediate medical attention, 988 will be the number to call when having thoughts of suicide, having a mental health or substance use crisis, or experiencing any other kind of emotional distress. You’ll also be able to text 988 or chat via the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

How it Works

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.

Texting 988

Text (English only) will be available through 988 by July 16, 2022. When someone texts to 988, they will be responded to by a group of Lifeline crisis centers that respond to chat and text. This service will expand over the next few years to increase local and state level response. Once connected, a crisis counselor will listen to you, work to understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share resources that may be helpful.


Chat

Chat (English only) is available through the Lifeline’s website https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat People seeking chat services will be provided a pre-chat survey before connecting with a counselor that identifies the main area of concern. If there is a wait to chat with a crisis counselor, a wait-time message will appear. If demand is high, individuals can access the Lifeline’s “helpful resources” while waiting or call 1-800-273-8255 (or 988 after July 16, 2022). Once connected, a crisis counselor will listen to you, work to understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share resources that may be helpful.

Toolkit

Please feel free to use the following resources on your social media, in your newsletter, or in any other ways you see fit. We encourage you to forward them to organizational partners and/or individuals within your sphere of influence and encourage them to share as welll.

In addition to the resources below, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has a 988 Partner Toolkit with printable materials, an e-newsletter template, a presentation deck, and much more.

General Audience

Are you or someone you love in crisis? Don't wait. Call 988.

CAPTION:

It’s okay to ask for help. If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

You are not alone.

CAPTION:

Hope is here and help is available. Whether you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use problem, or any other kind of emotional challenge, there’s help available. If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.

Experiencing a mental health crisis?

CAPTION:

Compassionate, confidential support is available 24/7. Just call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org to be connected to trained crisis counselors.

For Faith Leaders

Sometimes "love one another" is as simple as making a phone call.

CAPTION:

Are you having a hard time? You don’t always have to know the answer. Just reach out, and we’ll help you find it. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional challenge, there’s help available. Just call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.

For Parents

Kids get stressed too.

CAPTION:

If your child is struggling, don’t assume it’s “no big deal” or “just a phase.” To be connected to trained counselors, call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.

For Those Struggling with Substance Abuse


CAPTION:

There are compassionate people standing by to help. If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

For Veterans

You answered your country's call. Now let us answer yours.

CAPTION:

Hope is here and help is available. Whether you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use problem, or any other kind of emotional challenge, there’s help available. If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.

For Youth

If you're struggling, it's okay to reach out.

CAPTION:

Feel like you’re not being heard? We’re here to listen. To be connected to trained counselors, call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.

You are not alone.

CAPTION:

Hope is here and help is available. Whether you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use problem, or any other kind of emotional challenge, there’s help available. If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.

;