CALS Wellness tip: 988 is new national suicide and crisis lifeline number

Americans nationwide now have an alternative to 911 for mental health crisis support. Calls or texts to 988 will tap into a network of trained mental health counselors that can provide immediate support and connect to local resources for ongoing care. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ten-digit number (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) is still active and calls are answered by the 988 network. Veterans can press “1” after dialing 988 to connect directly to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline which serves Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and those who support them. For texts, veterans should continue to text the Veterans Crisis Lifeline short code: 838255.

Wisconsin now requires 10 digit dialing for local calls across all area codes. This technical transition ensures that all calls beginning with 988 will immediately be routed to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. The Congressional bill establishing the 988 number allows states to implement a small monthly phone service fee to support 988 crisis services, but so far only a few states have passed this legislation.