988: What You Should Know About the New National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

By: Jayson Tripp, MD


For individuals struggling with poor mental health and suicidal ideation, a new resource has officially been put into effect. The 988 suicide prevention lifeline is now active throughout the United States. While the previous suicide prevention number (1-800-273-TALK) will continue to function, this shorter three-digit number will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, making it easier to remember and dial in a mental health crisis.  

What Is the 988 Lifeline? 

The 988 lifeline is a free and confidential resource for people experiencing suicidal thoughts or emotional distress across the country, available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Calls and texts are answered by trained crisis counselors who can provide support and additional resources as needed.  

Who Can Use the 988 Lifeline? 

Any individual who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress is encouraged to use the lifeline. If you have a loved one who is struggling, you can also call for additional resources and support. 

The Data 

According to a 2020 study, the CDC placed suicide among the top nine leading causes of death for people ages 10-64 in the United States. The CDC also estimated that 46,000 people (about twice the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden) died by suicide in 2020, with an additional 12.2 million adults who seriously considered suicide and 1.2 million adults who attempted suicide. The need for easily accessible mental health resources is more urgent now than ever. 

Where to Turn to for Further Help 

While the new 988 lifeline is a significant improvement for those struggling with suicide ideation, there is still work to be done. Suicide is complicated and devastating, but it can be prevented. Serenity Mental Health Centers can help you before you reach crisis status.  

Our team of board-certified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners specialize in treating complex cases of depression with a range of treatment options. Some patients may find relief through medications such as antidepressants, while others may experience extreme side effects or no discernable improvement. More advanced treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment and ketamine therapy, can provide immediate, long-term results in particularly difficult cases of depression, even for patients who have struggled to find success with other treatment options. 

You don’t have to face your depression alone. At Serenity, we’ll work to help you reclaim your life from mental illness and suicidal ideation. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment  with a qualified medical professional today. 

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*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.