988: New Number to Call for People Facing Mental Health Crises

Everyone deserves access to the support they need when they need it – and that includes mental health support. Available now, anyone facing a mental health crisis can call 988 and be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The line is staffed with mental health professionals who can provide guidance and support. The phone line is staffed 24/7 and is free and confidential.

What happens when you call 988:

  • You will be directed to your closest crisis center based on your area code.
  • Once connected, the trained mental health professional will listen and help address the issue by providing support and resources.
  • You will be connected to a backup location if your local center is unavailable.

Having concerns about your mental health is a common experience. It’s time to make this kind of support just as common. This is why 988 is an easy three-digit phone number to remember. If you’re ever feeling like you need help with a mental health or substance use crisis but are not sure how or where to start, dial 988 for a direct connection to compassionate, accessible support.

It’s never too early – or too late – to seek help. In the U.S., the average amount of time between the onset of symptoms of a mental health condition or challenge and a diagnosis is eleven years. If you’re facing a mental health crisis for the first time reaching out can help.

Lifeline and other hotlines work. Studies show that hotlines are effective in helping people who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or having a mental health crisis. 66% of people said that the chat intervention feature offered by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is helpful.

Mental health challenges and crises are widespread. This is why there are resources and support available for anyone facing mental health and substance use issues. If you or someone you know needs help, please do not hesitate to call 988 for assistance.


Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free and confidential assessment and counseling services. If you are struggling with issues or have had suicidal thoughts, reach out to your BHS Care Coordinator to be provided with resources.  BHS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 800-245-1150.