988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. That could be:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Mental health or substance use crisis, or
- Any other kind of emotion distress
People can call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. 988 serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. We're committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.
What happens when I call 988?
When calling 988, callers first hear a greeting message while their call is routed to the local Lifeline network crisis center (based on the caller’s area code). A trained crisis counselor answers the phone, listens to the caller, understands how their problem is affecting them, provides support, and shares resources if needed. If the local crisis center is unable to take the call, the caller is automatically routed to a national backup crisis center. The Lifeline provides live crisis center phone services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide translation services in over 250 additional languages for people who call 988.
What happens when I text 988?
When someone texts to 988, they are responded to by a group of Lifeline crisis centers that answer both chats and texts. This service will expand over the next few years to increase local and state level response. Once you are connected, a crisis counselor listens to you, works to understand how your problem is affecting you, provides support, and shares resources that may be helpful. Currently, texting is available in English only.
What happens when I chat via 988?
Chat (English only) is available through the Lifeline’s website at 988lifeline.org/chat. People seeking chat services are provided a pre-chat survey before connecting with a counselor, who identifies the main area of concern. If there is a wait to chat with a crisis counselor, a wait-time message will appear. If demand is high, people can access the Lifeline’s “helpful resources” while waiting. Once you are connected, a crisis counselor listens to you, works to understand how your problem is affecting you, provides support, and shares resources that may be helpful.
Learn more about 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.