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.
988 is more than just an easy-to-remember number—it’s a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support 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 is just a first step toward strengthening and transforming crisis care in this country. It serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.
Over time, the vision for 988 is to have additional crisis services available in communities across the nation, much the way emergency medical services work.
SOURCE ARTICLE: SAMHSA.org
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