People in need of mental health support can now call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, called Lifeline, at: 9-8-8.
The three-digit calling code is not replacing the national hotline, which will still operate at: 1-800-273-8255. The goal of offering an alternative number is to make it easier for people to remember when they are in crisis or distress. Anyone who calls 9-8-8 will be connected with a trained counselor.
The 9-8-8 hotline is staffed 24/7, so people can seek immediate help any time day or night. Callers do not need to be in danger of suicide to use the hotline - they only need mental health support for themselves or someone they know.
The mental health crisis support line is free to use. Once a caller reaches a trained counselor in the Lifeline network, the counselor will listen, provide additional support and connect callers with additional resources if needed.
Lifeline offers a list of warning signs to help determine if a loved one is at increased risk for suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
The website 988lifeline.org has more about Lifeline and ways to get help.