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New 988 suicide and crisis hotline up and running

988 mississippi
Image courtesy of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline/Facebook

A new three-digit number for those experiencing suicidal thoughts or a mental health crisis is officially active.

The number, 988, is designed to be the equivalent of “911” but for mental health emergencies. Any call made to the nationwide number is routed to the nearest lifeline center from the location of the caller, Therefore, a call from a Mississippi resident will be directed to a Mississippi lifeline center.

While suicide prevention may be the focal point of the new number, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health Services emphasizes that the lifeline is inclusive for any individual dealing with any kind of mental health crisis.

“It has been promoted as a suicide prevention lifeline, but moving forward, it’s going to be promoted as a suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis line,” DMH Chief of Staff Katie Storr said during a recent episode of Good Things with Rebecca Turner. “So families can call when they’re concerned about a loved one. Maybe someone has a history of mental illness and they’re seeing behavior changes, and that person is in a crisis at that moment and they need help. They will be able to call 988.”

988 can also be reached via text message or at 988lifeline.org/chat.

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