A new 988 hotline devoted to mental health emergencies is expected to be up and running in July 2022, NPR reports.
Mental health advocates say the new hotline will make it easier for more Americans to access mental health care. Currently, people experiencing a mental health or suicidal crisis are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Robert Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said the new three-digit number will be easier to remember or dial in times of crisis. “When you’re in crisis and you’re already emotionally upset, the hardest thing to do is find the number that’s a 10-digit number and call it,” he said. “When there are other emergencies, we know 911,” he says. “It’s ingrained in our heads — we don’t have to think about it.”