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9-8-8: The New Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

If you or someone you love is experiencing a mental health crisis, you now have a new way to reach out for help in the United States. You can now call or text 988. You will be connected to a trained mental health professional if you are suicidal or in any other type of mental health crisis. This new shorter number makes it easy for you to call for help.

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 thoughts of suicide, mental health, substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.

Most people experiencing a mental health crisis dial 911, but that rarely helps with addressing your needs in the moment. Dialing 911 could lead to tragedy or trauma. The purpose of 988 is to reduce confrontations with law enforcement. When you dial this number, you will be connected to the crisis center closest to you.

The FCC actions reflect its commitment to saving lives and connecting individuals to necessary intervention services. Switching to the easy-to-remember 988 makes it easier for individuals in crisis to access the help they need and decrease the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues.

*The original National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is still in place.

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