988 Lifeline

February 15, 2024
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7 connection to confidential support.
Too many Americans are experiencing suicide and mental health crises without the support and care they need. In 2020 alone, the US had one death by suicide about every 11 minutes — and for people aged 10-34 years, suicide is a leading cause of death.

Moving to an easy-to-remember, 3-digit dialing code will provide greater access to life-saving services.
Providing 24/7, free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress works! The Lifeline helps thousands of people overcome crisis situations every day.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Lifeline and will 988 replace it?
The Lifeline is a national network of over 200 local, independent,
and state-funded crisis centers equipped to help people in emotional distress
or experiencing a suicidal crisis. Moving to 988 will not replace the Lifeline,
rather it will be an easier way to access a strengthened and expanded
network of crisis call centers. Beginning July 16, 2022, people can access
the Lifeline via 988 or by the 10-digit number (which will not go away).

When will 988 go live nationally?
The 988 dialing code will be available nationwide for call (multiple languages),
text or chat (English only) on July 16, 2022. Until then, those experiencing a mental
health or suicide-related crisis, or those helping a loved one through crisis, should
continue to reach the Lifeline at its current number, 1-800-273-8255.
How is 988 different from 911?
988 was established to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets
our country’s growing suicide and mental health related crisis care needs. 988 will
provide easier access to the Lifeline network and related crisis resources, which
are distinct from 911 (where the focus is on dispatching Emergency Medical
Services, fire and police as needed).

How is 988 being funded?
Congress has provided the Department of Health and Human Services
workforce funding through the American Rescue Plan, some of which will
support the 988 workforce. At the state level, in addition to existing public/
private sector funding streams, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of
2020 allows states to enact new state telecommunication fees to help support
988 operations.

Is 988 available for substance use crisis?
The Lifeline accepts calls from anyone who needs support for a suicidal,
mental health and/or substance use crisis.