NC secures funding to pay for new suicide prevention line

On July 16, 2022, 9-8-8 will become the three-digit national dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced today that it has received $3.3 million to expand support for people in mental health crisis.

This funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration to the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services will help North Carolina expand the Suicide Prevention Lifeline from the current 10-digit number to a one-to-one number. three numbers easier – 9-8-8 – for people with suicidal thoughts or in mental health crisis.

On July 16, 2022, 9-8-8 will become the three-digit national dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

People can talk, chat or text with trained call center staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call center staff can provide crisis counseling as well as information about local community resources and referrals.

“Increasing access to behavioral health services, especially in times of crisis, is a top priority,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “9-8-8 is an easy-to-remember number that people can access wherever they are and get the help they need. This is a life-saving resource and an important investment in supporting the behavioral health and resilience of North Carolina residents.

Call volume is expected to increase with the implementation of 9-8-8, and grant funds will be used to ensure the call center is staffed with trained counselors to meet the increased demand.

Callers will have access to trained crisis counselors and receive follow-up services as needed.

For more information on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, you can click this link.