New crisis help number – 988 – helping more people, more quickly

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

On July 16 the United States transitioned from a 10-digit phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to the easy-to-remember three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Since then, there has been a 45 percent increase in people using the new, shorter number, according to 988 Lifeline Performance Metrics.

Along with this increase in calls, the Department of Health and Human Services reported the answer rates have increased and on hold times have significantly decreased compared to before the crisis line was activated. This is not only the result of the activation of the new crisis number but an increase in the funding for language access and an increase in the staffing at call centers.

When you need help, knowing that someone will be there to pick up the phone when you call makes all the difference. Improvements to how the U.S. provides resources to those struggling with mental health are more important than ever. We now have a National Mental Health Crisis Hotline 988, now we need to use it.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or text 741741, or chat online at

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