988 Dialing Code Offers Immediate Mental Health Services

A three-digit dialing code number – 988 – strengthens and expands the reach of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Two essential elements are associated with the 988 number, which went live in 2022:

  • Someone to call.
  • Someone to respond.

Dialing 988 now connects people experiencing mental health-related distress with compassionate, accessible care and support that includes a trained crisis counselor. People can also dial 988 if they are concerned about a loved one who may need crisis support.

The national number has been compared to a “911 for mental health” and is available throughout the United States.

Memorial Behavioral Health professionals support this line and also offer additional resources including Mobile Crisis Teams, stabilization services and a crisis call center.

For now, when a person calls 988:

  • A greeting message plays while call is routed to local Lifeline network crisis center (based on the caller’s area code).
  • A trained crisis counselor answers the phone, listens to the caller, determines how their problem is affecting them, provides support and shares resources if needed.
  • If local crisis center is unable to take the call, the caller will be automatically routed to a statewide backup crisis center.
  • The Lifeline provides live crisis center phone services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide translation services in more than 250 additional languages for people who call 988.
  • There is also an option for veterans, answered by mental health professionals who are themselves veterans.

Need Non-Emergency Assistance?

Call Memorial Behavioral Health at 217-525-1064, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to be connected with services.