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Written by Dr. Camila Pulgar.

Beginning July 16, 988 will be available 24/7 for people to anonymously call or text trained counselors at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

9-8-8, like the current Lifeline number 1-800-273-8255 which will also remain available, will provide live calling services to crisis centers in English and Spanish and will use Language Line Solutions to provide services of translation in more than 250 additional languages.

What happens when you call or text 988?
The Lifeline website says that when you call or text, you’ll be told you’ve reached the hotline, then you’ll be connected to a trained crisis worker who works at a nearby crisis center. The counselor will listen, provide support, and share resources.

How do the 988 and 911 interact?
Greater collaboration between 911 and 988 may provide more options for people in crisis, such as sending mobile crisis teams to people with mental health, substance use, or suicidal crises instead of police, fire, or emergency medical services; and greater coordination of care options, such as crisis stabilization. units. Such collaborations can reduce the burden of costly use of hospital emergency departments.

Who should call 988?
Anyone can call or text the hotline for any reason. These days, people are calling to talk about a variety of topics, including substance abuse, relationships, and depression. It doesn’t matter what issues you’re dealing with, whether or not you’re thinking about suicide, if you need someone to lean on for emotional support, call the Lifeline.

When is 988 available and who answers?
988 is available 24/7 and connects you with a counselor at a local crisis center, says the Lifeline website.

Can you still call 1-800-SUICIDE?
The phone number 1-800-273-8255 will remain available along with the 988 number for people experiencing suicidal or mental health crises, according to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Will they know who is calling?
Lifeline says that calls to 988 are anonymous and confidential.

Does calling 988 cost anything?
Calls and texts to the hotline are free and accessible from landlines, cell phones, and via internet calls, says the 988 website.

For more information visit:

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