988 is now the three-digit dialing code that routes callers to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (or 988 Lifeline). On July 16, 2022, the Lifeline transitioned away from the National Suicide Prevention Line reached through a 10-digit number to the three-digit 988 Lifeline. It is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant).
When people call, text, or chat with the 988 Lifeline, they are connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing 988 Lifeline network, made up of over 200 local crisis centers. These counselors are trained to provide free and confidential emotional support and crisis counseling to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, and connect them to resources. These services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, across the United States.
The previous 988 Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.
The 988 Lifeline’s network of over 200 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005 and has been proven to be effective. Trained counselors listen, provide support, and connect to resources when appropriate.
Callers who follow the “press 1” prompt are connected to the Veterans Crisis Line. A Spanish Language line is available by pressing #2 when calling 9-8-8, and more than 240 languages are supported through a Tele-Interpreters service. Callers now also have the option of following a “press 3” prompt to be connected to a counselor specifically trained in supporting LGBTQI+ callers.
Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a 988 Lifeline counselor.
Answer the call! 988 Lifeline centers are looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees. You will receive training, so if you are looking to make a difference for those in crisis, apply today. Find your opportunity: samhsa.gov/988-jobs
For ways to support your local 988 Lifeline network crisis center, visit our Crisis Centers page here.
To learn about the impact of the 988 Lifeline, visit our new By the Numbers page.
To learn about what happens when you call, text, or chat with the 988 Lifeline, click here.
To learn more about the history of the 988 Lifeline, visit here.
To learn how Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the 988 Lifeline, has supported states’ implementation of the 988 Lifeline through grants, check here.
If you’re a veteran, service member or loved one and want to know more about how 988 Lifeline works with the Veterans Crisis Line, click here.