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It’s Here: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

988 is the new “911” for mental health emergencies. This new dialing code went live July 16 and connects callers to 24/7, free, and confidential support for suicidal or mental health crisis.

In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes, making it the leading cause of death for people aged 10-34 years. The same year, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code for suicide and mental health crisis to be operated through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a network of about 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country.

The Lifeline is a way for anyone to connect with support for thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. The number works for voice, text, and chat.

People can also dial 988 if they are worried about someone else who may need crisis support.

A national effort aligning with the BCBSAZ Foundation for Community & Health Advancement’s focus on mental health.

The 988 launch is happening the same year the BCBSAZ Foundation for Community & Health Advancement began operations and initiated its funding focus on mental health. The Foundation is committing $5 million over three years, including $2 million in 2022 alone, for grants that will support efforts to expand statewide resources, reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, and connect people to care.

You can make a difference by committing the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline number to memory, and letting others know about this life-saving resource.

For information, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.

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This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.