Rockville, MD – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is helping to upgrade the National Lifeline for Suicide Prevention to a three-digit number – 988.
According to a press release, Congress has designated the updated dial code in 2020 and the Department of Health and Human Services, through SAMHSA, is investing $ 282 million for the transition. This funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Biden administration’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
The 988 number is expected to be available for calling, texting or chatting nationwide from July.
“The conversion to this easy-to-remember three-digit number will strengthen and expand the existing Lifeline network, providing the public with easier access to rescue services,” the statement said. “The Lifeline is currently helping thousands of people overcome crisis situations every day. “
Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SAMHSA notes that suicide was the 10th leading cause of death nationwide in 2019. It was also the second leading cause of death among young people that year.
A CDC analysis released in 2020 and using data from 2016 found that men working in mines, quarries, and oil and gas extraction had a suicide rate of 54.2 per 100,000 workers. The overall average rate for men was 27.4. In addition, men and women in the construction and mining industries had suicide rates of 49.4 and 25.5, respectively.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 all year round at (800) 273-8255 (TALK).