Preparing for 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is going live on July 16, 2022. And there is tremendous need, given:
- In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes.
- For Virginians ages 10–34, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
- In 2020, 59% of firearm deaths in Virginia were suicides
Behind each of these data points, there are people, families, and communities who have been impacted. Yet, in the face of these urgent realities, there is hope.
On July 16, 2022, the Eastern Shore will join the rest of the United States in beginning to use the 988 dialing code. 988 will be the new three-digit number for call (multiple languages), text or chat (English only) that connects people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. The chat feature will be available through the Lifeline’s website. People can use 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.