Here’s what you need to know about 988, the new mental health crisis hotline

August 03, 2022

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline logoAnyone in the U.S. who needs any kind of mental health support or who is with someone in mental health distress can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

he 988 lifeline—officially called the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline—provides no-cost, confidential, 24/7 emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Anyone who calls or texts 988 will be connected to trained counselors who are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. The network is made up of about 200 local crisis centers, and callers will usually be connected to a counselor in the center closest to them. The hotline’s trained counselors will listen, provide support and connect the caller to mental health resources if necessary.

Who can call the 988 hotline?

Anyone in the U.S. experiencing mental health distress can call or text 988 to seek help. The lifeline is staffed 24/7, so people can seek help at any time—they do not need to be in danger of self-harm to reach out to the lifeline. The existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number, (800) 273-8255, also remains available to people in need of mental health support.

Experts say the three-digit code may be easier to remember in emergencies. The 988 hotline will help people know that if a situation is a mental health crisis, there is a specific number they can call to get help and get connected to the proper resources right off the bat.

People in mental distress can also chat with a trained counselor by visiting