988: New, 'easy-to-remember' suicide hotline to be enacted nationwide, officials say

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will implement its new three-digit phone number for use across the nation.

Starting July 16, people experiencing distress and concerns can call, text, or chat 988 and be connected to trained counselors within the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network.

According to Lifeline, they have received over 20 million calls from people who need help or are in distress. 

The new number was created in October 2020 as part of the  National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, after years of advocacy by the mental health community for an easy-to-remember phone number that would help increase accessibility across the board.  

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the current phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally.