New suicide prevention hotline launched in the US

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This story is about suicide. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide and Crisis Helpline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline changed from a 10-digit hotline number to a three-digit emergency number: 988.

Starting Saturday, the 24/7 emergency medical line is also connected to the Veterans Crisis Line.

“988 is more than a number, it is a message: we are always there. Through these actions and more, we are making mental health a priority and making crisis help available to more Americans,” Health and Human Services (HHS) sec. This is stated in the statement of Javier Becerra. “There there is still a lot of work to be done. But the important thing is that we are launching, 988 will live. We look to every governor and every state in the country to contribute to our long-term success.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all phone and text messaging providers across the country to activate 988 no later than Saturday.

NEW 3-DICT SUICIDE HOTLINE COULD SAVE ‘THOUSANDS OF LIVES’, LEGISLATION SUPPORTING LEGISLATION SAYS

Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, speaks at a press conference to launch the new 988 National Mental Health Helpline on Friday, July 15, 2022, in Philadelphia.  The press conference took place in front of the artist Eric Okde's mural

Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, speaks at a press conference to launch the new 988 National Mental Health Helpline on Friday, July 15, 2022, in Philadelphia. The press conference took place in front of the artist Eric Okde’s mural “Contemplation, Clarity and Fortitude”, which represents, among other things, the process of overcoming difficulties. The US’s first nationwide three-digit mental health hotline (988) went live on Saturday.
(Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

The National Suicide Hotline Act approved 988 as the new three-digit number for suicide and mental health crisis and was signed into law by then-President Donald Trump following the passage of a bipartisan bill in 2020.

FCC staff first proposed 988 in a report to Congress in August 2019.

HHS wrote Friday that the Biden administration has increased investment in the 988 lifebuoy from $24 million to $432 million.

The money included more than $100 million in grants to states and territories to improve response rates, increase capacity to meet future demand, and ensure that calls originated in their states or territories are routed to local, regional, or national emergency centers first.

This Sunday, Aug.  11, 2019, photo, a man talking on a cell phone in New Orleans.  Quick help for suicidal thoughts and other mental health emergencies may soon be as easy as 9-8-8.  On Saturday, July 16, 2022, the first nationwide three-digit mental health hotline in the United States will go live.

This Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo, a man talking on a cell phone in New Orleans. Quick help for suicidal thoughts and other mental health emergencies may soon be as easy as 9-8-8. On Saturday, July 16, 2022, the first nationwide three-digit mental health hotline in the United States will go live.
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, file)

Grant funding was provided by the American Plan of Rescue.

Recent investments made in Lifeline have already resulted in more calls, chats and texts even though the volume has increased, but we know that too many people are still experiencing suicidal crises or mental breakdowns without the support they need.” – Miriam E. Delfin-Rittmon, The HHS Assistant Secretary of Health for Mental Health and Substance Use and Chief of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) said in her own statement: “Over time, the vision for 988 is to have additional crisis services available in communities around the world. country, in much the same way that emergency medical services work.”

Sustainable funding will be required.

FEDERATIONS TO ESTABLISH 3-DIGIT SUICIDE HOTLINE NUMBER TO TRY TO SAVE LIVES

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a network of over 200 state and local call centers.

It is maintained by HHS through SAMHSA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, one person died every 11 minutes in the US every 11 minutes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, one person died every 11 minutes in the US every 11 minutes.
(iStock)

Lifeline has been in existence since 2005. Lifeline received 3.6 million calls, chats and texts last year, a number expected to double in the first full year following the transition to 988.

Lifeline’s 10-digit number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), will continue after July 16 and will redirect calls to 988 indefinitely. The Veterans Crisis Line is also still available at the current phone number 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, either via chat or text 838255.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, one person died every 11 minutes in the US every 11 minutes. This is the main cause of death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.