988 Mental Health Crisis Lifeline will be available Starting July 16, 2022
U.S. transitions to new phone number for crisis care
(Carson City, Nev.) – Compassionate, accessible care will be available to Nevadans statewide by dialing an easy to remember three-digit number, 988 (then press 1), starting Saturday, July 16, 2022.
NDVS is helping to promote this change. The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services is transitioning to the new 988 number to ensure help is available for those in need. The new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will replace the current 1-800 phone number. During this transition both numbers will be available for use.
For almost a decade, mental health advocates have asked for an easy to remember three-digit number for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Fueled by this advocacy, the federal government and the Federal Communications Commission did extensive research into the possibility for that number. From that, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was passed in October of 2020, which required the existing ten-digit national number to be converted to 988.
Starting this Saturday, nationally and in Nevada, that call-line will go live.
All behavioral health crisis calls through 988 will continue to be routed to national suicide prevention lifeline call centers, including Crisis Support Services of Nevada (CSS-NV), which has been the Silver State’s statewide call center since the 1960’s. To prepare for the transition to 988, CSS-NV has increased their staff, all of whom are highly trained in assisting with a range of different mental health crises for all age demographics. They have also continued to participate in the national lifeline network, which means no call, text, or chat in Nevada will go unanswered.
In 2021, Nevada’s Lifeline Center (NLC) received just under 31,000 contacts from residents who were experiencing either a behavioral health crisis or thoughts of suicide. Between 2020 and 2021, NLC reported a 42% increase in contacts, and that number is expected to continue to increase. By the end of 2024, the 988 Crisis Call Center is expected to receive nearly 100,000 contacts annually.
Nevada will continue to use federal funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and American Rescue Plan funding allocated by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak to build out a high-tech crisis call center, as well as a dispatch center, as part of a continuing investment in Nevada’s mental health.