Earlier this year, a new three-digit dialing code took effect, making it easier to reach out for mental health help. As the new number for suicide prevention, the 988 Lifeline offers support at your fingertips via call, text, or chat. Your friends at The Calli Institute wants to highlight this resource and its vital function in the journey toward healing.

New Number, Same Support

As of mid-July, 988 is the designated number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, also known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Anyone can call or text this number for help.

The previous number — 800-273-8255 — is also still active and accessible for anyone struggling with emotional turmoil. In addition, veterans who need support can dial 988 and then select 1 to reach the Veteran Crisis Line. Veterans may also continue to text 838255.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a nationwide system of more than 200 crisis centers backed by local and state sources and supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It provides free, confidential, and compassionate support 24 hours a day, seven days a week from mental health professionals who are trained to discuss callers’ experiences, from psychological trauma and clinical depression to suicidal thoughts — and everything in between.

The goal is to offer the care and support needed to help overcome personal crises and to provide resources for additional assistance, if necessary.

So many people who experience mental health issues or have thoughts of suicide feel helpless. That’s why the 988 Lifeline is here — to provide hope. And help.

By the Numbers: Stats & Facts

In the U.S., about one person dies by suicide every 11 minutes. And for every person who dies by suicide, another 316 people consider it. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people and the 10th leading cause of death in the country (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Some additional statistics include:

  • Almost 46,000 Americans died by suicide in 2020
  • Suicide rates are highest among middle-aged white men
  • Men die by suicide almost four times more than women
  • Someone in the U.S. attempts suicide every 27.5 seconds

What’s more, Minnesota’s age-adjusted suicide rate is higher than the nationwide average: 13.08 for every 100,000 people. So, it’s important for anyone who’s struggling to have somewhere to turn — for advice, for understanding, for support.

Suicide is a touchy subject, which is why people often don’t reach out. But we need to talk about it, and it’s okay to talk about it. We need to normalize open discussions and asking for help. Changing the stigma can help lower these statistics in favor of more positive ones. To date, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has received more than 23 million calls from people looking for support.

Be Aware of the Signs

Thoughts of and comments about suicide can often seem slight or insignificant, especially if said in passing or in a flippant manner.

But for anyone wrestling with these feelings, those warnings are very real and can become more threatening over time. Someone who is entertaining the thought of suicide may:

  • Exhibit extreme mood swings and/or aggression
  • Withdraw from family and social circles
  • Display impulsiveness or become reckless
  • Increase alcohol consumption or drug use
  • Give away possessions and/or pay off outstanding debts

If you or anyone you know is struggling, someone is always available to listen and to help. A call or text to 988 is quick, simple, and confidential. The 988 Lifeline can offer light in the darkest of times, as it has already done for so many others.

We are Here to Listen

Suicide prevention is possible, especially when you recognize the signs and know where to turn for help. For anyone dealing with hard times and bleak thoughts, the 988 Lifeline offers support at your fingertips. And for additional help or encouragement, the wellness professionals at The Calli Institute are here to listen. Our balanced approach to mental health empowers clients to better understand the power of self-care and their unique journey toward personal well-being. If you’d like to learn more, we’re always here.

Share Post:

Ready to start feeling like your best self again?