On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) will transition to the phone number 988. Moving to a 3-digit code will transform the way Americans reach out for mental health help and support. The FCC selected the 988 number to elevate the awareness for mental health crisis response to the same level as calling 911 for other emergencies. It’s anticipated that 911 and 988 will quickly become the two most recognized and important phone numbers.
Of course, 988 is more than just an easy to remember number, it’s a direct connection to compassionate and professional support for anyone who might be struggling with emotional distress, experiencing suicidal thoughts, or who is concerned about a family or friend with a mental health or substance use issue.
Not only is 988 easy to remember, it's also a direct 3-digit line to trained counselors who will open the door to millions of Americans to seek the help they need, while sending the message that healing, hope and help is available 24/7 every day.
The 988 crisis line will:
- Connect a person in a mental health crisis to a trained counselor who can address their immediate needs and help connect them to ongoing care.
- Reduce use of law enforcement, public health and public safety.
- Meet the growing need for crisis response systems.
- Help end the stigma toward those seeking or accessing mental health care.
- 988 will be answered by the Helpline Center – staffed by individuals with advanced degrees and experience in behavioral health.
- Will provide follow-up calls to callers including follow-up calls for mobile crisis team referrals, discharges from stabilization units and appropriate regional facilities.
- Partner with 911 PSAP’s, psychiatric inpatient units, stabilization units and appropriate regional facilities.
- Text and chat services will be offered through 988.
- There will be national, statewide and local marketing campaigns promoting 988.
- The big part of the success of 988 will be the partnerships and collaboration with all services on the crisis continuum.
Be a part of transformational change! The Helpline Center is currently seeking collaborative and passionate individuals to bring 988 to South Dakota with all the success we know is possible.
To learn more about our open positions, check out our career page here.