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988 Lifeline

Sarasota County, FL, August 15, 2022 – The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.


Beginning July 16, the phone number “988” was debuted nationally as a new access point for critical mental health support, in the same way one dials “911” for emergency services. The new number stems from the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which Congress passed in 2020.


Dialing “988” will replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) and help meet the growing need for urgent and emergent mental health care nationally. Additionally, the phone line will help further elevate suicide prevention and early intervention with other medical emergencies as serious health issues.


How It Works

The 988 network routes calls - either from someone in distress or someone calling on their behalf – to a local crisis center based on the caller’s location. Trained counselors can intervene in these critical moments. They can also connect individuals to appropriate resources and more quickly and effectively plan longer-term care to sustain recovery and quality of life.


Special routing is available for both veterans and Spanish-speaking individuals.


What You Need to Know

Share this information and add it to your list of important phone numbers.