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National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline now live

07/21/22 12:20:pm

The national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline launched on July 16, giving people in a mental health crisis a new option to call, text, or chat.

988 graphic.pngIn the video above, Jerry Halverson, MD, chief medical officer, explains what the new lifeline is and why it’s so important.

“We can play a key role in making sure everyone knows it exists,” he says. “20% or more of calls to 911 are behavioral health calls, so this gives those people help right away. They can talk to someone with training and get referred to appropriate treatment. For places like Rogers that takes care of people who have had a psychiatric emergency, this is a great way for our patients in the future, if needed, to get help more immediately than they are able to at this time.”

  • In its first phase, 988 will connect those in crisis to a
    compassionate person trained to help. Longer term, the goal is to
    help people link to community-based providers who can deliver a range
    of crisis care services.
  • The 988 and 911 systems will closely coordinate to allow referral of
    callers for appropriate care or response that addresses the unique
    circumstances present with each crisis encounter.
  • The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) remains available
    to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even now that 988
    is launched, but 988 is now the preferred number to promote and call.

For more information, visit the website at Lifeline (988lifeline.org), get more detailed information at 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline | SAMHSA, read FAQs, or refer to fact sheets in English or Spanish.

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