Lifeline Chat and Text
Lifeline Chat and Text is a service of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), connecting individuals with crisis counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat or texting 988.
All chat and text centers in the Lifeline network are accredited by either the American Association of Suicidology or the International Council for Helplines. Lifeline Chat and Text is available 24/7 across the U.S. and certain territories.
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is committed to providing individuals in emotional crisis with support, which can include connection to specialized services for different populations. Click here to learn more about these options.
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Ready to Chat?
To start a text conversation instead, send a text to 988. Your conversations are free and confidential.
After you complete the short survey and agree to the terms of service, we will connect you to a counselor. There may be a wait time to connect. To speak to a counselor now, please call the Lifeline at 988.
ⓘ Please note if you are using an iPhone browser to chat with us you must remain on the browser chat screen to stay connected. If you navigate away from the chat or access a different iPhone application your connection may be lost. Thank you.
What Happens When I Chat or Text with the Lifeline?
1. First, you’ll see a wait-time message while we connect you to a crisis counselor.
2. If demand is high, you can always look at our “Helpful Resources” below, or call the Lifeline at 988.
3. A counselor will answer your chat or text.
4. This person will listen to you, understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share resources that may be helpful.
Your conversations are free and confidential.
If you’re having trouble accessing Chat and the troubleshooting tips below don’t resolve the issue, Crisis Counselors are available to support you by phone at 988. You can also Contact Us to share the technical trouble you’re experiencing so we can get things fixed.
LGBTQ+ people under 25 can access 24/7 LGBTQ+ support on both 988 Crisis Chat or Text. You’ll be asked if you want to opt-in to this support before you’re connected to a crisis counselor.
Veterans and active service members can reach the Veterans Crisis Line 24/7 by texting 838255, chatting here, or calling 988 and pressing 1. Learn more about the VCL here.
Explore these resources while you wait.
Chat and Text FAQ
Who should use the Lifeline Chat and Text Service?
Anyone who is depressed, going through a hard time, needs to talk, or is thinking about suicide can use the service. The crisis counselors are here to listen and support you through whatever difficult times you may be facing.
When is Lifeline Chat and Text available?
The Lifeline Chat and Text service is available 24/7. If you have trouble connecting to the service we encourage you to call the Lifeline at 988.
How do I start a text with 988?
You can send any message to 988 to start a text conversation with us.
Are all Lifeline Chat and Text communications secure and confidential?
The confidentiality and security of transcripts and any data collected during chats and texts are ensured through the Lifeline chat and text software provider, which uses the same encryption and data protection standards required by major financial institutions to transact business with each other.
How do I connect with someone who speaks my preferred language?
Lifeline Crisis Chat and Text is currently only available in English. If you need support in another language, please call 988.
How do I close a conversation if I need to stop talking?
If you need to leave a conversation without saying goodbye to your crisis counselor, you can do so. For Chat, you can click “End conversation” at any time to close the conversation. For Text, you can send STOP and your crisis counselor will close the conversation without sending any future messages – though you will immediately receive a single automated message offering an opportunity to complete a post-conversation survey. (Note: For Text, many phone carriers will require you to send UNSTOP if you ever want to start texting with us again.)
What do I do if nobody answers?
If the service appears offline or busy, please call the Lifeline at 988 – we are available 24/7. If you or someone you know is in danger or needs immediate medical attention, please call 911.
What are the American Association of Suicidology and the International Council for Helplines?
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) is a world leader in the development, implementation, and facilitation of accreditation, certification, and training programs. Their programs are evidenced-based and best practices to uphold standards of care for those impacted by suicide. They provide accreditation, certification, and training opportunities for organizations and individuals.
The International Council for Helplines (ICH) offers accreditation to all chat and/or text crisis helpline programs to ensure high-quality standards and ethical practice. International Council for Helplines accreditation standards define and establish best practices for crisis chat and texting services. The Standards focus on areas outlined below in order for programs to have the infrastructure in place to provide compassionate and non-judgmental services to those in need of emotional support.
What is the purpose of the pre-conversation survey?
Knowing a bit about you, what you’re going through, and how you’re feeling right now can help your crisis counselor better support you as soon as your conversation starts.
The chat window isn't working for me and the other troubleshooting tips didn't fix the problem.
We’re so sorry that the site isn’t working for you. Crisis Counselors are available to support you by phone at 988. You can also Contact Us to share the technical trouble you’re experiencing so we can get things fixed.
I submitted my survey, but nothing happened.
I've been waiting a long time.
We’re sorry that you’ve been waiting. To speak to a crisis counselor now, please call the Lifeline at 988. If you believe the site is experiencing technical issues, please let us know on our Contact Us page.
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