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Posted on: July 15, 2022

New Three-Digit Mental Health Crisis Hotline — 988 — Launches July 16

Link to information about suicide prevention and mental health resources

Beginning Saturday, July 16, 2022, Virginians who need suicide prevention or behavioral health crisis support, or are worried about someone else, can call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline network. The new three-digit number is designed to be easier to remember for people in crisis.

Anyone calling from a phone with a Virginia area code will be connected to trained counselors through the existing state or national crisis care system network. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline will eventually include geolocation capabilities. 

The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting “CONNECT” to 855-11, continues to be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will connect callers to the same services as calling or texting 988.

This is the first phase of the expansion of the scope of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to include behavioral health crisis as well as suicide prevention. 

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Counselors may also direct callers to additional resources for mental health and substance use treatment.

In Loudoun County, anyone experiencing a life-threatening, behavioral health emergency should call 911 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) deputy or officer.

More information about local and regional mental health resources designed to help prevent suicide may be found at loudoun.gov/suicideprevention

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