A new national suicide prevention hotline – 988 – is now operational, making it easier for people in mental distress to reach out for help.
After the launch on July 16th, people can now call, text or chat the number, and be routed to counselors of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The workers on the other end of the line are trained to listen, provide support, and connect callers to resources. The hotline can also aid family and friends of someone who may be considering suicide.
News media coverage of Blue Shield of California experts, commenting on the importance of this new hotline, included:
For anyone struggling with their mental health, help will now just be a three-digit dial away.
On July 16, a new, shorter number for the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline officially goes into effect nationwide: 988. The hotline will connect people to a network of crisis counselors, making it easier for Americans to get mental health support for themselves or a loved one.
“The 988 line will break down barriers — both practical and in terms of stigma — to asking for and receiving support,” said Jennifer Christian-Herman, the vice president of Mind Body Medicine at Blue Shield of California. “The goal for the hotline is to mirror 911 in its ability to link individuals to the right level of care sooner. When someone is distressed, the last thing you want is for them to have to search for the right number to call. Knowing that confidential support is just a three-digit call away will save lives.”
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KTLA TV in Los Angeles
ABC 7 in San Francisco
Spread the word! Happening Saturday, 988 will be the new, more simple number for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Mental health professionals say the hope is that it will become as familiar a resource as 911. pic.twitter.com/kAvqZJLxia— Zach Fuentes (@ZachFuentesABC7) July 15, 2022
KRON 4 in San Francisco
KFBK Radio in Sacramento
A new three-digit national suicide prevention and mental health hotline - 988 - debuted Saturday. Listen: Jennifer Christian Herman, Ph.D., Vice President of Mindbody Medicine at Blue Shield of California. and clinical psychologist.
Listen to the story here