988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers in emotional distress or suicidal crisis to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This dialing code is already available in some areas and will be available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022.
When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
The current Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), will remain active. In summary, as of July 16, 2022, people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis can obtain support from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Lifeline’s network of over 200 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005, and has been proven to be effective. It’s the counselors at these local crisis centers who answer the contacts the Lifeline receives every day. Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.
Of course if you are in immediate danger you should call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.
Source for this information can be accessed at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/current-events/the-lifeline-and-988.