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988: National Suicide Hotline launches new dialing code Saturday

  • / Updated:
  • Hayley Jones 

Beginning on Saturday, people experiencing a mental health crisis can call or text 988 to get in touch with the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Formally known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the hotline provides 24/7, free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, according to its website.

Lifeline puts callers in contact with local crisis centers

The Lifeline is a national network composed of 200 local crisis centers.

The new three-digit number will connect callers to a certified local crisis center.

According to the New York State Office of Mental Health, situations in which a person might call the 988 Lifeline include:

  • thoughts of suicide
  • substance use crisis
  • emotional distress

Related: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before:’ The state of mental health care in the Finger Lakes

988 available nationwide July 16

The three-digit number is anticipated to be easier to remember than the current 10-digit number operated by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

988 will be available nationwide via chat, text or call on Saturday, July 16.

For more information on the 988 National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, head to this website.

Related: Why are older New Yorkers dying from drug overdose or suicide at a higher rate now?