A crisis hotline could be the step that empowers you to lead the life you want. Calling or chatting on a text line for emotional support and validation that you need is a form of self-love that is powerful and courageous. Let’s erase some of the mystery surrounding crisis lines. 

988 Crisis and Suicide Lifeline

988 is a Crisis and Suicide Lifeline launched nationally on July 16, 2022. 988 has been an active crisis line since 2005. It is a national network of local crisis centers bringing free, confidential aid to individuals. 988 Lifeline is available 24/7 in the United States and provides services in English and Spanish. 988 is “committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.” 

What happens when you call 988?

The design of the Crisis Lifeline is to connect a person to resources in their local mental health community and to bring emotional support in the present moment. This is what you can expect when you call 988 for support.

  1. “First, you’ll hear an automated message featuring additional options while your call is routed to your local 988 Lifeline network crisis center.” Some options include a Veterans crisis line and specialized support for LGBTQIA+ individuals under 25.
  2. You will be placed on hold and hear music while they connect you with a trained crisis worker.
  3. You are then greeted by a trained crisis worker in your area.
  4. “This person will listen to you, understand how your problem affects you, provide support, and get you the help you need.”

While you talk with the crisis worker, they will assess your safety, specifically regarding suicidality and homicidal ideation. These workers are mainly there to give you support and can help provide you with resources that connect you to mental health care professionals in your area. Depending on the scenario, they may send you a professional dispatch for a wellness check for your safety.

What It’s Like to Text 988

Depending on your feelings, you may opt to text rather than call. Both calling and texting are effective and helpful and can be the next step to bring you a sense of stability when you’re overwhelmed. Do whatever feels right for you. Texting with 988 is also free and confidential. For a Spanish language crisis worker, text “AYUDA” to 988.

Here’s what you can expect when you reach out to 988 via text message.

  1. Send a text to 988
  2. A short survey will need to be completed
  3. Agreement to terms of service
  4. A connection will be granted to a crisis counselor.
  5. You may experience a small wait time before connection.
  6. If the wait time is too long for you, you can call the 988 Lifeline number.

The primary goal is to get you the support you need. 988 offers various crisis services and specializes in supporting anybody experiencing suicidality. Connection and support are vital for the human experience. 

If you are in crisis or think you may have an emergency, call 911. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, call or text 988, or chat on their website at 988lifeline.org/chat.

Heartland Therapy Connection is available to help. Contact us today to speak to one of our therapists

Leave a Reply