We recommend our crisis counselors contact emergency services for help only in cases where risk of harm to self or others is imminent or in progress. Most 988 calls do not involve emergency services. Whenever possible, we recommend less invasive options like collaborating on a safety plan, using a mobile crisis team, working with the individual’s loved ones or professionals, or urging the individual to go to a location emergency department.

We work hard to make sure that everyone who calls 988 can reach a crisis counselor as quickly as possible. If you are in a medical emergency or suicidal crisis and you cannot connect, please call 911.

When you call 988, you will be connected with a real, live crisis counselor who will listen, try to understand your problem, provide support, and share resources.

Calling or texting 988 and using our chat service is always free and confidential. The service is available 24/7.

Anyone who is struggling with depression, needs to talk, or is thinking about suicide can call or text 988 or use our chat service to communicate with a crisis counselor.

Yes. Dialing 1-800-273-TALK will reach a crisis counselor; 988 is simply an easier-to-remember number for people to access a network of crisis call centers.

All contacts with the 988 Lifeline from people seeking help are to be treated as confidential by the 988 Lifeline and 988 Lifeline network centers. This means that information about callers/chatters/texters will not be shared outside the 988 Lifeline without documented verbal or written consent from the person seeking help, except in cases where there is imminent risk of harm to self or someone else, or where otherwise required by law. It’s important to remember that confidential and anonymous are not synonymous. During your contact with the 988 Lifeline you may voluntarily share certain information about yourself that could be identified and that information may be documented in notes about your conversation. The center may also have access to the phone number or IP address you used to contact the 988 Lifeline. You will never be required to provide other identifying information to receive help from the 988 Lifeline. We rigorously protect all the confidential and identifying information shared with the 988 Lifeline. We may use de-identified and aggregated data for reports to stakeholders, funders, and policymakers about the numbers and types of conversations we have with people in crisis, and the general aggregate demographics of people seeking help from the 988 Lifeline.

988 services span every state and all 5 American Territories. However, 988 is a large network of centers, and callers are connected to a callcenter local to their area (like CONTACT CARE).

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