According to the PA Department of Human Services, starting July 16, 2022, people who call, text, or chat with 988 will be directly connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The existing Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will remain available. Callers can also connect with the Veterans Crisis Line or assistance in Spanish.
Who can call 988?
988 can be used by anyone, any time, at no cost. Trained crisis response professionals can support individuals considering suicide, self-harm, or any behavioral or mental health need for themselves or people looking for help for a loved one experiencing a mental health crisis. Lifeline services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no cost to the caller.
What happens when you call 988?
-Callers will be directed to a local 988 call center based on a caller’s area code where trained professionals are waiting to listen and assist. Note: Callers will also be given the option to reach the Veterans Crisis Line (Option 1) or a Spanish speaker (Option 2).
-If a local call center does not answer the call within 60 seconds, the call will be routed to one of Pennsylvania’s three regional 988 call centers.
-If a regional call center is unavailable, the call will be routed to the national backup network able to assess the crisis and connect to local assistance.
For more from DHS, click here.