As of July 16, 2022, a significant change happened to promote help and hope for those who struggle with suicide and other crises. This has been a chronic problem for both children and adults in America. COVID-19 and the reoccurring variants have left our country with a lot of despair which can lead to suicidal thoughts and sometimes actual attempts. There is a special provision for our veterans that is especially designed for their needs.
Here is the announcement to mark a new change in how we will manage our new suicide lifeline:
Today, “988” is the three-digit, nationwide phone number to connect directly to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. By calling or texting 988, you’ll connect with mental health professionals with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Veterans can press “1” after dialing 988 to connect directly to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline which serves our nation’s Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and those who support them. For texts, Veterans should continue to text the Veterans Crisis Lifeline short code: 838255.
Too many people experience suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress without the support and care they need. There are urgent mental health realities driving the need for crisis service transformation across our country. In 2020 alone, the U.S. had one death by suicide about every 11 minutes—and for people aged 10-34 years, suicide is a leading cause of death.
There is hope. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a national network of more than 200 crisis centers that helps thousands of people overcome crisis situations every day. These centers are supported by local and state sources as well as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress. By calling or texting 988, you’ll connect to mental health professionals with the Lifeline network.
This is a much-needed new development and I hope it will help prevent suicides and offer a level of support to those who are struggling with intense anxiety, depression and life crises. Establishing this is a priority and providing some new funding and support will hopefully allow more help to be directly available with a simple phone call.
Spread the word and be a part of a national suicide prevention program that will save lives and mitigate the tragedies that occur when families have to experience the suicide of a loved one.
I trust this will make a significant difference for this national societal problem.