988 mental health hotline up and running

Launched on July 15, the easier-to-remember three-digit number is available 24/7 to call or text. Those worried about a loved one are also encouraged to use the line. (Photo courtesy of Rene Ranisch on Unsplash)

Everyone knows to call 911 in an emergency. However, those operators aren’t always trained to handle a mental health crisis. To address this, a new national hotline, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, recently launched to connect those experiencing suicidal, substance use and/or a mental health crisis with trained crisis counselors that can provide direct, life-saving services.

988 is built off the previously known National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number (800-273-8255) which continues to work. Officials nationwide have prepared for the launch by increasing staff and funds for the much-needed counseling services.

Visit online for frequently asked questions and more information.

– MaryGrace Williams, 360 Media, Inc., The Atlanta 100