On July 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.
You cannot call 988 now. 988 will be available beginning on July 16, 2022. Americans who need help now should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or have speech disabilities can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) by using the following ways:
- Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). The Lifeline is currently available to users of telecommunications relay services (TRS) through 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). After 988 is available, TRS users will continue to be able to access the Lifeline by dialing 988.
- Direct Video Calling (DVC). The FCC does not have authority over the Lifeline to require direct video calling (DVC) for sign language users, but encourages DVC solutions to be used.
- Text Communications. Because Lifeline does not have an integrated texting solution available at this time, the FCC will not require text-to-988. The FCC encourages callers who prefer texting to use the chat portal on the Lifeline website; the Veterans Crisis Line, which offers veterans both an online chat service and a text service accessible by texting 838255; or the Crisis Text Line, a private non-profit service that offers a free, 24/7 crisis texting service to the public, by texting 741741.