988 hotline is the 911 for mental health

A new three-digit mental health crisis hotline goes live on Saturday. Instead of sending paramedics such as when someone calls 911, a call to 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors.

By

National News

July 15, 2022 - 3:20 PM

Quick help for suicidal thoughts and other mental health emergencies may soon be as easy as 9-8-8.

The United States’ first nationwide three-digit mental health crisis hotline goes live on Saturday. It’s designed to be as easy to remember and use as 911, but instead of a dispatcher sending police, firefighters or paramedics, 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors.

The federal government has provided over $280 million to help states create systems that will do much more, including mobile mental health crisis teams that can be sent to people’s homes and emergency mental health centers, similar to urgent care clinics that treat physical aches and pains.

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