The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a US-based suicide prevention network. It’s a service where professional crisis counselors provide supportive counseling, suicide assessment, prevention, and intervention over the phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 988 is a safe, compassionate, and non-judgmental place to seek help whenever needed. It’s available to anyone in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. All services are free and confidential, and callers can remain anonymous.
How Does 988 Work?
When someone calls the 988 Lifeline, their call is routed to the closest call center based on area code. The goal is to connect callers to counselors in their state. However, if the nearest local crisis center does not have an open line when someone calls, the call is instantly routed to the next available crisis line. Local counselors at the crisis centers are familiar with community mental health resources and can provide referrals to callers.
Who Should Use The 988 Lifeline?
Anyone who is depressed, going through a hard time, needs to talk, or is thinking about suicide can use the service. The 988 Lifeline does not have to be a last resort. Instead, it should be used as a preventative method. The crisis counselors are there to listen and support callers through whatever difficult times they may be facing.
Nervous About Seeking Help?
One of the characteristics that the 988 Lifeline looks for in hiring crisis counselors is the ability to remain open and nonjudgemental with all callers. They focus on the emotions the caller is experiencing, which can be hard to talk about. Sadly, the stigma often associated with reaching out for help in our society is still strong. Allowing callers to remain anonymous can reduce the concern related to the stigma that might otherwise prevent a person from calling. This can feel like a safer option for many individuals, especially when reaching out for the first time.
At Seven Counties Services, we want you to know you are not alone! People are working right now who care about you and want to support you and help you feel better in whatever you are going through! If you or someone you know is struggling and are in need of help, please call 988. It is available to all people, always, from anywhere.