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What is the 988 Crisis Line?

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a free, confidential, 24/7 text and call line offering support for those in a mental health crisis. 

About the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 

If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of a mental health crisis, you are not alone. The 988 lifeline connects callers with licensed counselors ready to assist. Veterans and Spanish speakers have the option to choose a line best suited for them. 

The lifeline automatically routes calls via area code to the nearest crisis agency. Once connected to the Illinois Life Line, callers receive support on an individual basis from crisis workers trained in suicide prevention and de-escalation, and stabilization. From there, they provide additional resources or send in-person intervention by a crisis-trained person.

988 is free, available 24/7, and confidential.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now 988

The previous Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), will remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.


The 988 Rollout Timeline

August 2019

The FCC, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the North American Numbering Council recommend the use of 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

July 2020

The FCC designates 988 as the new 3-digit phone number for individuals in crisis.

October 2020

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 was signed into law, incorporating 988 into statute as the new Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line phone number.

November 2021

The FCC adopted rules to expand access to text 988 to directly reach the Lifeline to better support at-risk communities in crisis, including youth and individuals with disabilities.

July 16, 2022

All phone companies and text messaging providers are required to route all calls and text messages to “988” to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. (988 Facts Sheet, 2022)

988 Frequently Asked Questions

The Lifeline is there to help callers during a crisis and connect them to additional local resources, as needed.

Can I use 988 for a substance use crisis?

If you're experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911. The 988 Lifeline accepts calls, texts, and chats from anyone who needs support for a suicidal, mental health, and/or substance use crisis.

Is 988 different than 911?

988 was established to meet the growing need for suicide and mental health-related crisis care. With the 988 Lifeline number, 911 is now used to dispatch Emergency Medical Services, fire, and police as needed.

What happens when I call 988?

Callers who use 988 will have their call routed to the nearest available crisis worker. Trained crisis counselors answer each call and provide support and resources as needed.  

Mental health illness is common and treatable. To learn more or access care, discover Mental Health Resources in LaSalle County.

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