“Supporting New Yorkers with accessible mental health care and support is essential, especially in light of the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. With the launch of the National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, people suffering from mental health-related distress finally have an easy way to get the help they need. This new dial code serves as an alternative to 911 for mental health crises, which will result in a more appropriate response for those seeking help. I encourage all New Yorkers to let it be known that if you are struggling with mental health issues, please call 988 and get connected to the support you need.

Background:

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 expand the program through increased language access and staffing of local call centers.

Today, 988, administered by Vibrant, will finally launch, connecting people across the country experiencing mental health-related distress to accessible care and support. Examples of distress include, but are not limited to: suicidal thoughts, mental health, or substance abuse crisis. By dialing 988, callers will be connected to a live crisis center trained to identify their needs, offer assistance and connect them to nearby services if needed. The national hotline offers translations in English and Spanish, and local network providers offer service in more than 250 languages, depending on the area.

To learn more, visit the official website of the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services at 988.

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