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Call 988 Three Digits for Individuals Experiencing Suicidal Crisis and Emotional Distress

Monday, November 21, 2022
In July 2022, a new, three-digit 988 number was implemented nationally for anyone in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

Trained counselors, who are not clinicians, are available to provide free, confidential emotional support to all callers. It can also be used by an individual who is worried about a loved one and not sure how to support that person or where to get them help.

Calls to 988 are routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline). The previous Lifeline number 1-800-273- 8255 (1-800-273-TALK) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

What Happens When I Call 988?
  • Calls will be routed to a call center based on a caller’s area code.
  • All calls will be answered by a highly trained staff or volunteer who will provide compassionate, non-judgmental support.
  • Although the number is shorter, it will still connect to the same service which has been available in Massachusetts for many years.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can also be reached through online chat, Suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

What Happens When I Chat with the Lifeline?
  • First, you’ll see a wait-time message while we connect you to a crisis counselor.
  • If demand is high, you can view “Helpful Resources” section or call the Lifeline at 988.
  • A counselor will answer your chat, listen to you, understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share resources that may be helpful.
For more information about 988, please visit Mass.gov/988-suicide-and-crisis-lifeline.

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