988 suicide hotline launches nationwide on Saturday

988-Mental Health Hotline
Posted at 11:09 AM, Jul 15, 2022

Starting July 16, people across the country can call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Callers will be connected with trained counselors who will provide them with support and can connect them with more resources.

The three-digit number was modeled after 911. It is meant to make it easier for people in distress to seek help.

"Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor," the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline says.

The current Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-8255, will remain available to avoid confusion.

The hotline is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation.

Veterans can also access the Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 988 and pressing option 1.

"The new, shorter number will help ensure Veterans have easier access to the Veterans Crisis Line,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough.