New 988 Suicide Hotline: Hope or Hype?

On July 16, 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 an interview with told Psychiatric Times™, Dr. Balfour shared that “having a 3-digit number sends the message that mental health emergencies are as important and require the same level of response as other types of health emergencies, and it makes it easier for clinicians to counsel their patients on how to access emergency mental health care.” She also touched upon the importance of the system’s infrastructure.