Beginning July 16, 2022, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline will launch nationwide. The new three-digit phone number — 988 — will be available 24/7 for people experiencing a behavioral health crisis to call or text. Calls may be responded to in English or Spanish. People can also chat online at Before July 16, those in crisis can continue to call the existing number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is easy to remember, like 911, and offers a direct connection to trained crisis counselors who will offer compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress — including thoughts of suicide, a substance use crisis or any other kind of behavioral health crisis. The counselor is part of a call center that is linked to a network of services, so the caller will be connected quickly with the right kind of help, from the right type of helper.

How will the 988 Work?
  • 988 was established to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets our country's growing suicide and mental health-related crisis care needs. 988 will provide easier access to behavioral health crisis services, which are distinct from the public safety purposes of 911 (where the focus is on dispatching Emergency Medical Services, fire and police as needed).
  • 911 will continue to operate as it does across the state. For serious and life-threatening situations, 988 call centers will work with local mental health providers to support appropriate interventions.
  • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon's 988 call centers are collaborating with 911 Public Safety Answering Points to develop a roadmap on how 911 and 988 can coordinate with each other in the future.
  • 988 crisis counselors are trained to use the least invasive interventions. Oftentimes, responding to a call, text or chat is all that is needed to help someone in crisis. In fact, more than 95 percent of current calls are resolved over the phone.
  • If a 988 call cannot be resolved over the phone, a mobile crisis team or first responder may be dispatched.
Other important facts to know: 
  • 988 will be available through every landline, cell phone and voice-over internet device in the United States, as well as text and chat.
  • The current technology for 988 will route callers by area code, not geolocation.
  • 988 is not currently available when phones are locked or do not have prepaid minutes.
  • The transition to 988 will not impact the availability of crisis services for veterans and military service members. They can call 988 and press 1 to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line.
  • For support in Spanish, callers can press 2 to connect with the Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio.

Click here for frequently asked questions about 988


Above information published by Oregon Health Authority