The new mental health crisis number 988 launches Saturday, according to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The number will be available 24/7 for people to anonymously call or text trained counselors at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020, nearly 46,000 people died by suicide -- one death every 11 minutes. The new three-digit dialing code is intended to be easier to access and remember than the 1-800-SUICIDE number, according to the 988 messaging website.
“Nonstop through my entire shift calls are coming through,” said Dana, who works at Community Crisis Services in Hyattsville.
At the crisis center, call takers like Dana communicate with people in crisis, and their conversations can be life-saving.