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Idaho State News

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is Now Available for Anyone Having a Behavioral Health Crisis

Idaho residents now can call or text 988 at any time to talk to a trained professional who can help them through a behavioral health crisis. The new emergency phone number launched on July 16 and is available nationwide.

Anyone experiencing behavioral-health related stress — thoughts of suicide, mental health issues, substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress — can call or text 988 at any time. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis intervention.

“This is a big step forward in the improvement of our behavioral health crisis care continuum in the state,” said Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “988 is easy to remember and will help Idahoans in crisis get connected to compassionate, accessible care and support.”

All calls made from an Idaho area code to 988 are routed to a central hub in Washington, D.C., and then re-routed to the Idaho Crisis and Suicide Hotline. The new three-digit number is available in multiple languages for everyone in Idaho and the U.S. to call and connect with the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Text is available in English only.

Veterans can call 988, and then press 1 when prompted to reach the Veterans Crisis line.

“Idaho is joining states and territories across the nation in transition to the easy-to-remember, three-digit number for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. This is a top priority for me and our entire leadership here at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),” said Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., the HHS assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “I am committed to continued work with our national partners to achieve a smooth transition, and I greatly appreciate the partnership with our state and tribal leaders in Idaho. Thank you to the crisis centers and behavioral health professionals in Idaho who are working hard at the local level to support people, prevent suicides and save lives.”

The national 988 emergency line strengthens and connects the patchwork network of more than 200 locally operated and funded crisis call centers across the country. Previous phone numbers used for crisis in Idaho will continue to operate. People can still call 800-273-8255 or text 208-398-4357, but the same thing is accomplished by simply dialing or texting 988.

For more information, visit call988idaho.com.