NEW YORK (WKBW) — 988 has been designated as the new three-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and it will be available nationwide beginning Saturday.
Those in emotional distress or suicidal crisis will be able to call or text 988 and a chat feature will also be available on the Lifeline's website. Those who contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will have a direct connection to "compassionate, accessible care and support" according to Crisis Services.
The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will remain available even after 988 is launched nationally.
On Wednesday Governor Kathy Hochul announced the successful implementation of 988 in New York State. A release from the governor's office says there are currently 13 operating 988 crisis contact centers in the state and two in the development stage.
"Connecting people who are experiencing a mental health crisis or considering suicide to trained counselors can significantly help them through difficulties that seem insurmountable, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides hope and support to those who need it most. By implementing 988, we are providing these individuals, as well as their families and friends, an easy-to-remember number that will give them access to the services they need."