As you know, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is the new FCC-designated three-digit number that connects directly to trained counselors who provide support to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
The Implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in New York State has been a great success and has already helped many more New Yorkers in crisis get immediate assistance. This is a testament to the work of the staff at our contact centers, who are not only answering more calls, but answering them more quickly to support New Yorkers in crisis.
For 988 to continue to be effective, New Yorkers should know that this service is available to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Office of Mental Health (OMH) is currently in the process of updating all educational materials to reflect the change to 988, and we are asking all healthcare providers to do the same. This includes changing any mention of the previous 10-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) (1-800-273-TALK) to say 988, or the 988 Lifeline. 988 will also be replacing the NY Project Hope Emotional Support Helpline, so references to the Helpline should be replaced with 988.
NYS OMH is asking all providers to update their resources. The following list provides suggestions on how providers can successfully achieve this task:
Here is the recommended language for sharing 988 as a resource on documents or email signatures:
988 is more than just a suicide helpline. It is a direct connection to compassionate care. Anyone can call, chat, or text 988 for support, including anyone who has thoughts of suicide, is in emotional distress, is struggling with substance use, or is experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Additional information can be found in OMH’s 988 Brochure and Frequently Asked Questions infographics.
Should you have any further questions about the implementation off 988 in New York or how to update your resources, please contact the Bureau of Crisis, Emergency, and Stabilization Initiatives at Crisis.Initiative@omh.ny.gov.
Thank you to each and every one of you for what you do every day to help New Yorkers!