988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (similar to how people can call 911 for medical emergencies). This dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States by July 16, 2022.
When people call or text 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis even after the 988 is launched nationally.
For our Canadian readers, the Canada Suicide Prevention Service is unchanged. Canadian citizens can contact the service at 1-833-456-4566 (available 24/7) or can send a text to 45645 (available 4 PM-Midnight ET) to connect with responders.