988 has been designated as the new, three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), and is now active across the United States. Like 911, the 988 hotline is easy to use and easy to remember. The goal of 988 is to be a better way to reach people in crisis where they are.
When people call, or text 988, they will be connected to trained counselors from a network within their area. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support and connect them to other resources if necessary. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services without judgment or stigma.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis, emotional distress or those experiencing a mental health issue 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, across the United States. English and Spanish language services are also available. The lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 200 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.
FAQs About 988
It is for anyone experiencing any type of mental health-related distress, including individuals who are worried about a loved one and need crisis support. You do not need to be experiencing suicidal thoughts to utilize 988. Any mental health crisis can be addressed via 988.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, 988 provides a connection to free, 24/7 confidential support.
No. People in crisis can also still call (800) 273-8255 and be connected to the same network of crisis call centers. The 988 number is simply easier to remember and includes a text message function. 988 is accessible to anyone who has a phone.
Yes. Crisis counseling services are provided for free, though some mobile phone carriers may charge a data rate for those who access 988 by text.
To learn more about 988, including additional facts (and myths), visit the website for the Illinois Department of Human Services.
At St. Margaret’s Health, we understand mental health is a crucial part of overall health and well-being. St. Margaret’s Center for Holistic Health & Wellness in Princeton was created to help answer the immense need for behavioral health services in our community. Unfortunately, the demand for these behavioral and mental health services in our areas is causing a longer than usual waiting periods for appointments at this location. We are working to expand our staff and better answer this important need. In the meantime, if you’re having thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek help. We encourage you to use this vital 988 suicide and crisis lifeline. You are never alone.