Suicide rates have been on the rise in the United States for years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020 suicide was the 12th leading cause of death in America.
In an effort to address this issue, a new national suicide prevention hotline number has been created.
The number is 988, and it is staffed by trained counselors who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This new hotline will provide support to those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, as well as their families and friends.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please don’t hesitate to call 988. There is help available, and you don’t have to face this challenge alone.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for individuals and families, and best practices for professionals. The Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides immediate help to anyone who is experiencing mental health or emotional crisis.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been operational for over 15 years, answered more than 4 million calls, and chats, and has provided lifesaving services to people in distress. In order to make the Lifeline more accessible to everyone, the FCC has designated 988 as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline starting on July 16, 2022.
When people call 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally.