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Statement from Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D. on Successful Transition to 988

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Friday, July 22, 2022

On July 16, the U.S. successfully transitioned to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) – the easy-to-remember number to reach trained crisis counselors for help with suicide, mental health and substance use-related crises. There were significant volume increases over the week. Total volume increased by 45%, and 988 Lifeline counselors answered 23,000 more calls, texts and chats than they had the week before transition.

We are grateful to all the crisis counselors who answer the 988 Lifeline with compassion and care. Across the country, countless crisis center staff stepped up to meet this transformative moment, and we applaud their life-saving work. The staffing needs vary at call centers across the country, but in general the need is urgent, and we encourage anyone interested in this critical line of work to visit the 988 jobs web page to learn more.

With the recent $432M investment (an 18-fold increase in funding) from the Biden-Harris administration, we have made tremendous strides in strengthening and expanding the 988 Lifeline, and we know it will continue to grow and evolve in the coming months and years. We also recognize the opportunity to improve the entire crisis care system for everyone in America. Too many people are experiencing suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress without the support and care they need. Now, 988 serves as the universal entry point so that no matter where you live, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help. There is hope. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

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