The New 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Author: Kirstin Toms - MarCom/Friday, September 23, 2022/Categories: Home Internet, Home VoIP

Suicide is a symptom of many different mental health disorders. At Consolidated Communications, we are committed to ensuring you have access to help when experiencing a mental health crisis.

On July 16, 2022, the U.S. transitioned the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to 988. Here’s more about the U.S. mental health crisis and the new lifeline.

What Is the Prevalence of Mental Illness?

Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. are living with mental illness, reports the National Institute of Mental Health. The CDC adds that more than 50% of people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. One in 25 Americans has a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

What Should I Know About the New Suicide & Crisis Lifeline?

The new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 988. This three-digit number is far easier to remember than its 10-digit predecessor, and it’s open 24/7 for any American who is experiencing a mental health crisis and needs help.

In 2021, the lifeline received 3.6 million calls, chats, and texts, reports the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in its press release. It adds that the number is expected to at least double during the first full year after the transition to 988.

The FCC requires all telephone service providers in the U.S. to activate 988 no later than July 16. At Consolidated Communications, we are proud to announce that 988 is activated and ready for those who need help.

The shortening of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to 988 is part of President Biden’s comprehensive strategy to address our country’s mental health crisis. It joins other strategies, including increasing the number of behavioral health providers in the U.S. and fostering healthier environments in schools and on social media.

Where Can I Learn More About the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline?

More information about 988 and how it works is available on the official SAMHSA website. Visit the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline page to learn more about the history of the lifeline and to access additional suicide prevention resources. SAMHSA also has a 988 FAQs page, which features detailed information about what to expect when you call or text the lifeline.

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