National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Launches New 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline — Occupational Health and Safety

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Launches New Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988

Lifeline is available for mental health and suicide crisis support seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

On Saturday, 988 was officially launched as a new lifeline for suicide and mental health crisis support.

According to a fact sheet, the 988 Suicide & Crisis lifeline will help “people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress” with emotional support. People can call, text or chat 988 to be connected to one of more than 200 crisis centers, some run by the Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Social Services.

The lifeline is free and confidential. It is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was formerly the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The phone number associated with that name, 1-800-273-8255, “will always be available,” the 988 website says.

Mental health and suicide crises affect thousands of people every year, including workers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, studies show that the number of workers with mental health problems is increasing. According to a study by The Standard, in 2019 only 39% of respondents said they suffered from mental health problems and 7% suffered from “serious mental illness”. In 2020, 46% said they suffered from these problems and 11% “suffered from a serious mental illness”.

Suicide rates are also a serious concern. In less than 20 years from 2017, the suicide rate increased by 40% for people of working age, according to the CDC. That year, nearly 38,000 people between the ages of 16 and 64 died by suicide. The top five industries with high suicide rates were estimated as follows: “Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (male); 2) Construction (males); 3) Other services (eg auto repair) (men); 4) Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (men); and 5) Transportation and Warehousing (Male and Female),” the CDC website notes.