988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

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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. transitioned to using the 988-dialing code, and it was 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.

For complete information about the Lifeline, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) webpage.

What This Means for Kansas

On July 16, 2022, in Kansas and nationally, a new 988 number became available 24 hours a day/7 days a week for people dealing with a mental health crisis. 988 will be the three-digit number for call (multiple languages), text or chat (English only) that connects people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health–related distress. The chat feature will be available through the Lifeline’s website. People can call 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, any other kind of emotional distress, or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

If you need suicide or mental health-related crisis support, or are worried about someone else, please call or text 1-800-273-8255 or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s chat to connect with a trained crisis counselor. The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support. The longer Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is 988?

  • Is 988 Available for Substance Use Crisis?

  • Is the 10-Digit Lifeline Number Going Away?

  • Is 988 Open to Everyone?

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