A Look at the 988 Soft Launch

On July 16, 2022, the emergency 988 number, the equivalent of 911 for mental health, will go live in the US. When people call, text, or chat 988, their call will be routed to trained, local counselors who are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. In this Crisis Connections, a monthly column for Psychiatric Times by Connections Health Solutions, Dr. Margie Balfour, chief of quality and clinical innovation at Connections Health Solutions and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, and Dr. Ken Minkoff, vice president and chief operating officer senior at ZiaPartners, Inc, a behavioral health system consultation firm in Tucson, share practical guide to understanding the new behavioral health emergency number and creating effective messaging for patients, families, and colleagues.