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Oregon Launches 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

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As of July 16, people in Oregon and nationwide who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis can call, text or chat 988 to get compassionate care and support from trained crisis counselors. The new three-digit 988 number will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 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.

The 988 number is easy to remember, like 911. 988 will be available to help people who are experiencing a range of behavioral health crises, including: thoughts of suicide or self-harm, substance use, or any other kind of behavioral health crisis.

People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

The 988 dialing code connects callers to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; a network of local crisis call centers throughout the country. In Oregon, 988 call centers are operated by Lines for Life statewide, and Northwest Human Services in Marion and Polk counties.

How 988 Works to Help People in Crisis

988 call services will be available in English and Spanish, along with interpretation services in more than 150 languages. Texting 988 and online chat (available at 988lifeline.org) are currently available only in English.

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, counselors resolve more than 95% of calls over the phone. The crisis counselors are trained to use the least invasive interventions and are linked to a network of services. Often, a supportive conversation is all that is needed to help someone in crisis. When in-person support or intervention is needed, counselors may dispatch a mobile crisis team or first responder.

What to Know About Calling 988

Important Facts:

  • 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.

See an infographic for more information on what to expect when people call, text or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Learn more about 988 in Oregon on OHA’s 988 webpage.