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Call 988: U.S. Launches First 3-Digit Mental Health Hotline

On July 16, the mental health equivalent of 911 launched across the United States. You can now call or text 988 to be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL). This service is confidential, free and available 24/7 for Americans dealing with mental health emergencies. The easy-to-remember number serves as an alternative to the 10-digit number currently used to reach the NSPL, which was established in 2005.

The 988 code was authorized by Congress in 2020, with the intent of giving Americans an easier way to reach the NSPL. Per the Washington State Department of Health, 988 will not replace any crisis call centers in Washington state. It is an addition to the state’s network of crisis center providers. The current NSPL number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), will remain active along with 988. Services are available in Spanish, along with interpretation services in over 250 languages.

You can call or text 988 if you are having:

  • Thoughts of suicide.       
  • Mental health crises.
  • Substance use crises.
  • Any other kind of emotional distress.

You can also dial 988 if you are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

 

References & Resources

Washington State Department of Health

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Overlake Classes: Overlake offers frequent mental health first aid training classes.  

 

If you or a loved one are experiencing depression or anxiety, Overlake Mental & Behavioral Health Services can help. Our providers will personalize your treatment plan to meet your needs. Make an appointment with us today.

 

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