988 provides quick access to the national Lifeline suicide prevention network

People in need of immediate mental health assistance can now dial or text 988 or chat online at 988lifeline.org and be connected with trained counselors who are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network .

Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The new number, which launched on July 17, has been designated as a universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline following the National Suicide Prevention Act 2020. designation of the suicide hotline.

“Unlike 911, counselors will be on the other end of the lifeline when you dial 988,” said Mara Madrigal-Weiss, executive director of SDCOE, Student Wellness and School Culture. “They’re trained to understand exactly how you’re feeling and to partner you with resources specifically designed to help you navigate the moment you’re in.”

Lifeline’s current phone number, 1-800-273-8255, and the San Diego County Access and Crisis Line, 1-888-724-7240, remain accessible to those in emotional distress or in a suicidal crisis. .

Middle and high schools are currently required to list the National Suicide Lifeline number on all student ID cards. The SDCOE encourages schools to update badges to reflect the shorter number, post campus posters and share 9-8-8 materials, and ensure students and families know why the number is important.

According to San Diego County, during the initial rollout, calls and texts to 988 will connect to the local crisis call center based on the phone number the call is placed from and the capabilities of the crisis center. calls.

For example, calls made from San Diego County area codes, which include 619, 858, 760, and 442, will be routed directly to the Access and Crisis Line. Calls made from other area codes will be routed to the local crisis call center based on the caller’s area code. SMS to 988 will be forwarded to a call center equipped for SMS and chat. In these cases, call center staff will work to de-escalate the situation and redirect the customer to the crisis call center closest to their current location for local services if needed.

The County Access and Crisis Line, which is confidential and toll-free, offers countywide support and resources in more than 200 languages ​​from experienced counselors on all topics related to behavioral health, mental health and substance use, including but not limited to: alcohol and substance use support services, crisis intervention, mobile crisis intervention services, health referrals mental health and suicide prevention.