“Supporting New Yorkers with accessible mental health care and support is critical, especially in light of the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. With the launch of the National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, individuals experiencing mental health-related distress finally have an easy way to reach the help they need. This new dialing code serves as an alternative to 911 for mental health crises, which will result in a more appropriate response for those seeking assistance. I encourage all New Yorkers to spread the word that if you are struggling with mental health challenges, please call 988 and get connected to the support you need.”


In 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The White House then increased funding for the 988 program by $282 million to scale up the program through increased language access and staffing at local call centers. 

Today, 988, administered by Vibrant, will finally launch, connecting individuals across the country who experience mental health-related distress to accessible care and support. Examples of distress include but not limited to: thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis. Upon dialing 988, callers will be connected to a live crisis center trained to identify their needs, offer support, and connect them to nearby services as necessary. The national hotline provides translation in English and Spanish, and local network providers offer services in over 250 languages, depending on the area.

To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration official site on 988