The new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 988, replacing the former 10-digit number created by National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2005. When you dial 988, you will receive free and confidential assistance, prevention, and crisis resources in real-time.

Although the number modification for this resource may not appear to be significant, removing the barrier of being able to find the 10-digit number online or remembering it will make it more accessible to people.

Dialing 988 will connect you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a network of 200 crisis centers around the country. It is similar to dialing 911 and will link you to trained mental health specialists who can assist you.

The 988 crisis line is operational and receiving increasing call volume, regardless of whether centers are prepared to handle the rush of calls. Even with the possible drawbacks, 988 is a positive start in addressing the country's growing mental health epidemic. In the following months, we should expect a period of growth and adaptability.

When you dial the 988 crisis line, expect the following:

When you call, your area code will be used to direct you to the nearest crisis center.

Once connected, the trained mental health expert will listen and offer support and resources to help address the issue.

If your local center is unavailable, you will be linked to a backup location.

All crisis professionals have been trained to manage crises involving mental health. The crisis specialist will put you in touch with an ambulance or a mobile crisis response team if you require more assistance.

Suicide risk does not increase when the topic is discussed. Acknowledging and talking about suicide may lessen suicidal ideation, according to the website for the 988 Suicide Crisis & Lifeline. Being there without passing judgment is a family member's most crucial responsibility. You may support them in developing a network of people and assets that can provide safety and aid when necessary.

State and local organizations must devote a lot of time and money to assisting centers in being ready for the challenges brought on by ubiquitous accessibility. Hopefully, 988 is just the start.

988 is a quick and easy way to obtain help with suicide prevention. However, it is not the only choice available. And you may discover that others are more suited to your needs.

More suicide prevention resources:

Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255

Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741741.

Trans Lifeline: Call 877-565-8860 to access.

Trevor Lifeline: TrevorText is available by texting "START" to 678678. Contact the 24/7 phone service at 1-866-488-7386.