Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
CLOSE ×
Search
Brought to you by
Leaving AARP.org Website

You are now leaving AARP.org and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

988 Suicide Prevention Hotline Launches Nationwide

The service is available 24/7, with over 200 crisis call centers

hands dialing on a touchscreen phone
Getty Images

Beginning Saturday, July 16, anyone contemplating suicide or experiencing emotional distress may call, text or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline to speak with a trained counselor who can provide support and connect them to local resources if necessary.

Like the 911 emergency service, the number is staffed 24/7 nationwide, with a network of over 200 state and local crisis call centers.

member card

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

Legislation was signed in 2020 to replace a 10-digit hotline with the easy-to-remember three-digit number. The law required all telephone service and text providers to activate the 988 service no later than July 16, 2022.

Many crisis call centers experienced challenges in preparing for the transition. A June 2022 RAND study found that out of 180 behavioral health program directors surveyed, about half reported their agency had been involved in strategic planning related to 988. Others said their most common challenges were an insufficient mental health workforce and lack of funding, despite a $432 million investment from the federal government.

membership-card-w-shadow-192x134

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.