Beginning on Saturday, July 16, patients in mental health-related distress will be able to dial 988 to access care and support for suicidal ideation, mental health or substance use crisis or any other kind of emotional distress. The line will also assist those concerned about a loved one who is in distress. The code, made possible through Congressional action in 2020, will operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network.
The Lifeline’s current number, 800-273-8255, will remain in operation after July 16. Patients calling either number will receive the same care.
988 services are also available by texting 988 or by initiating a chat on the Lifeline’s website.
For more information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website has a 988 partner toolkit with key messages, FAQs, and other information.