Dial 988: New national suicide hotline set to launch in July

Part of $282M allocated for suicide prevention, crisis care in the U.S.

(File) (KPRC via Pixabay)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is getting ready to launch a national suicide prevention lifeline next month.

In July, as part of an effort of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to make investments in suicide prevention and crisis care, the agency is trading in the current 10-digit number for three: 988.

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This comes after 2020, when Congress declared the new 988 dialing code would be operated through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, granting the public easier access to life-saving services.

The 988 national suicide prevention hotline number will be available nationally for call, text or chat beginning in July, government officials said.

This initiative is part of the $282 million package the government allocated for suicide prevention and crisis care services.

Until the formal launch of 988 in July, anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or emotional distress is urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Those who are not in crisis and seeking treatment options for mental health conditions should visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.