• Susie Henderson

988 SUICIDE & CRISIS LIFELINE OPENS!


We at Amitie’ would like to share that beginning on July 16, 2022, the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline went into effect. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is available for anyone in the United States who is experiencing suicidal ideation, a Mental Health crisis, or an addiction related issue. The previous Lifeline number, 1-800-272-TALK (8255), will still be active, but dialing 988 is a more efficient way to receive immediate assistance.


In the U.S., one person dies by suicide approximately every 11 minutes. Suicide is also the leading cause of death in young people aged 10-34. In 2020, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the 988 code as a first step initiative designing to transform crisis communication needs. The lifeline helps thousands of people overcome crisis situations each day.


HOW IT WORKS

Anyone experiencing mental or emotional duress or a substance abuse issue, can call 988 or text (SMS) 988 anytime. The service is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Those in need can speak or text with a trained professional counselor. The counselor listens to the caller, understands the problem(s) affecting them, offers support, and explains what resources are available. The identification of the individual and content of the calls are confidential. The 988 Lifeline provides crisis assistance in English, Spanish, and uses Language Line Solutions to offer translation services in over 250 additional languages. According to SAMSHA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration), the 988 number connects professional resources with those in need in a quicker manner, and therefore has the potential to save lives. The line is a resource for suicide prevention and crisis intervention.


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 911, 211, and 988?

911 is the number to call for any type of public safely concern. Normally, the dispatcher will contact emergency services such as police or fire departments to assist with an event.


211 is the number to call for those in need of healthcare providers and social service resources and referrals.


988 is the number to call for immediate threats of self-harm or for Mental Health or addiction related crisis situations.


Amitie’ strongly encourages everyone to have the 988 number easily accessible on their smart phones in the event quick access to the number is necessary. You can also be an advocate for suicide prevention and intervention by telling your friends and family about the 988 number. Below are some resources to be aware of:


Call: 988

SMS: 988

WEB: 988LIFELINE.org/chat

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988/partner-toolkit





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