Valley City Times-Record
New National Suicide Lifeline phone number is 9-8-8
On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Lifeline officially changed its number from 1-800-273-8255 to 9-8-8 and was renamed to the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. In shortening the number from 11 digits to just three, the number is more accessible to people in crisis. Changing the name helps bring awareness that those in need may not always be experiencing suicidal thoughts; they may be having a mental health crisis such as a panic attack or just need an open ear to talk to. All conversations and interactions with 9-8-8 crisis workers are free, confidential, and non-judgmental.
Along with the change in phone number, new ways of reaching crisis workers emerged. There is now the ability to text or chat online with a crisis worker. To text, someone in crisis can text any message to 9-8-8 in order to start a conversation. A follow-up text will be sent to gather some more information about the individual and the situation they are facing. For the online chat, someone in crisis can go to 988lifeline.org/chat to connect with a crisis worker. There is a pre-chat survey for the individual to fill out in order to provide the crisis worker with more information on the situation they are going through. These new ways of reaching out for help increase the availability of 9-8-8 services for people in crisis to get the help they need.
Along with the texting and chatting resource availability, there is also the Veterans Crisis Line. If a veteran is in crisis or if someone is concerned for a veteran, they can call 9-8-8 and press 1 to be connected with a trained peer supporter. There is also an option to text at 838255, as well as the online chat option for veteran specific crisis intervention and support at https:// www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-helpnow/chat/. On 988lifeline.org, there are resources to help offer guidance specific needs or situations such as individuals with neurodivergence, maternal mental health, youth, LGBTQ+, Native Americans, and many other specific groups and needs. In having these resources available to all, anyone can have the tools to help someone work through a mental health crisis or to point someone in the right direction.
To learn more about the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, please visit 988lifeline. org to explore all the information and resources provided.