988 will become the national three-digit phone number for all mental health, substance use, and suicide crises.
As of July 16, 2022, the current Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255, will transition to 988, where calls will be routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline centers in each state. This change provides Alabama with the opportunity to integrate Alabama’s crisis system and service delivery, where persons in need will be linked directly to critical services. Someone to call, someone to respond, and somewhere to go is the goal!
988 is more than an easy number to remember. According to ADPH’s website, 988 connects a person in need to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone with a mental health crisis. 988 can help with suicidal thoughts, mental health, substance use crisis, or any kind of emotional distress. It is a powerful tool that can de-escalate crises and connect individuals to the most appropriate care. ADAPH hopes to bring about change in the state’s response to mental health, decrease suicides and other mental health challenges, and lower healthcare spending and law enforcement calls with more effective detection and treatment. 988 is a safety net for mental health crises.