988 launches as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

New helpline takes effect in 2022
Posted at 11:26 AM, Oct 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-24 22:14:29-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is launching a new number for people in crisis to call: 988.

By dialing 988, callers are connected directly with the National Suicide Prevention line's suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.

Because many phone numbers in Palm Beach County also begin with the three digits 988, residents will need to dial an area code before making a phone call.

Palm Beach County is one of 82 area codes across the country impacted, a minor inconvenience to a much-needed resource.

According to the FCC, since 2008, suicide has been the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. claiming the lives of over 48,000 Americans in 2018.

That's about one death every 11 minutes.

That same year the former suicide prevention hotline answered 2.2 million calls.

The new helpline takes effect in July 2022.