988 and Crisis Resources
On July 16, 2022, 988 became the new dialing code to operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) network of local call centers. Funded by SAMHSA and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health, 988 is the result of federal legislation to increase the accessibility and use of life-saving interventions and resources. It is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible support for anyone experiencing mental health related distress, including thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. The nationwide transition to 988 as a three-digit call, text, and chat line is just the first important step in reimagining crisis support in the U.S. Behavioral health providers should stay informed about 988 and emerging crisis services. This resource page outlines key 988 and crisis service updates and resources to watch over the next few months.
SAMHSA 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Webpage
The SAMHSA 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Webpage provides an overview of 988, funding information for 988, data on suicide in the U.S., suicide prevention resources, and a 988 partner toolkit that includes factsheets in English and Spanish.
Crisis Systems Response Training and Technical Assistance Center
The Crisis Systems Response Training and Technical Assistance Center (CSR-TTAC) provides support to states, territories, tribal organizations, and community partners across the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline network and behavioral health crisis continuum of care. The goal of the CSR-TTAC is to support a crisis care system that is integrated, sustainable, equitable, and aligned around evidence-based and evidenced-informed practices.
The CSR-TTAC will be:
- Assisting in the integration of the 988 Lifeline with 911 and mobile crisis response services;
- Working to increase access to mental health and substance use crisis services for people and families in need, particularly priority populations and those who have been traditionally underserved by the health care system;
- Convening experts and leaders in mental health and substance use crisis systems and services to identify emerging best and promising practices; and
- Developing and disseminating materials for policymakers, agency leadership, the crisis workforce, and people and families in need to help improve crisis systems and services nationwide.
Featured SAMHSA Resources
This advisory discusses the role of peer support workers and models of peer support services that are available to assist individuals who are experiencing a crisis. Peer support services are a vital component of crisis care.
A series of 10 technical assistance collaborative papers providing important resources for state leaders, policy makers, providers, peers and others to learn from examples around the country and hear from thought leaders about innovative services and the need for further 988 implementation. Produced by SAMHSA in conjunction with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.
This webinar is an initial forum to learn about best practices to apply to 988 crisis response system optimization. Increasing our collective knowledge is best achieved by engaging with subject-matter experts, rather than expending time, energy, or other resources extracting or researching for answers in disconnected and fragmented ways. Session outcomes include new learning and insights to more effectively respond to a rapid 988 implementation trajectory.
The webinar discusses efforts in Washington State to support implementation of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Washington State Representative Tina Orwall describes passing legislation to improve the state’s suicide and behavioral health crisis response system implementing 988, which is strengthening Washington’s behavioral health crisis system. She discusses what is currently in progress as well as a continuing vision to strengthen the crisis response system in Washington State, and across the country.
This webinar details a tribal outreach approach for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Handouts from this session can also be accessed here.
This webinar gives more information about 988, who should call, why to call, what happens when you call, how it differs from 911, and what the larger mental health crisis response system can do.
By creating 988, law enforcement’s involvement in mental health crises may be reduced. This shift in mental health crisis response has the potential to break the cycle of ER visits, involvement in the criminal justice system, and experiences with homelessness, which disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities. This guide highlights benefits of 988, reviews key pieces of the federal legislation, and describes state-level implementation efforts.
The Southeast MHTTC put together a great Interactive Data Map: Suicide and Crisis Services Access, which shows different types of crisis service availability by county-level suicide rates – you can view each region separately.
Given the ever-expanding inclusion of the term “crisis” by entities describing offerings that do not truly function as no-wrong-door safety net services, we must define what crisis services are and what they are not. Leaders from Behavioral Health Link and the Georgia Crisis and Access Line discuss key components of SAMHSA's Crisis Now Model, implications of 988, and a "crisis now model" in action using Georgia as an example.
Everyone is familiar with 911, 411, and even 211, but what about the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline? Four years in the making, 988 is now a national reality. Trauma is very often the catalyst for crisis and providing trauma informed support is critical during times of crisis.
Dr. Miranda March hosted a panel discussion on how school and mental health leaders from the Pacific Southwest region have implemented 988, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline that launched in July of 2022. The panel was moderated by Danielle Raghib, Technical Assistance Specialist with the Center for Applied Research Solutions and featured CJ Loiselle, David Lopez, Kelly Marschall and Dr. Margie Balfour.
This is a recording of the Session 1 panel discussion in the Rising Practices & Policies in the Workforce series, that took place on May 9, 2022. The panel discussion looked at how school and mental health leaders from our region are preparing their workforce for the launch of 988, the new National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
This webinar explores the unique issues facing those doing virtual crisis management and response work such as crisis lines via phone, text, email or chat. Practical information and tools that provide support to people in these roles are enumerated.
Learn more about March's Workshop Wednesday as SAMHSA Region 8 Regional Administrator, Charles Smith, PhD, MA, presented an update on the status of 988, including the difference between 988 and 911, models for how 988 can work in your community, and additional state resources.
Other 988 Resources
988 Implementation Guidance Playbooks
SAMHSA, in co-sponsorship with NASMHPD, worked with partners across critical working sectors involved with 988 to develop 988 Implementation Guidance Playbooks (e.g. “playbooks”) for States, Territories, and Tribes; Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Providers; Lifeline Contact Centers; and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). The following are the links to these playbooks:
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Implementation Resources
These resources compiled by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) can help state, tribal, and territorial organizations and their partners implement the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. They include implementation tools, guidance on messaging about 988, and recommendations for establishing crisis services infrastructure. Access the resources here.
988 Messaging Framework
To help you as messengers in your ongoing and future efforts to communicate about 988 more effectively, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) and its partners have developed the 988 Messaging Framework. This resource provides general guidance about when and how to develop messaging about 988. It does not take the place of tailored and tested audience-specific messages.
988 Model Legislation
A 988 Model Bill for Core State Behavioral Health Crisis Services Systems (revised: February 2022; original draft: April 2021) was developed by NASMHPD to provide a template to states in developing 988 legislation.
988 Social Media Shareables
These shareables were designed for use as social media posts, stories and threads. You can use the full videos as individual interactives on the social media platforms, or you can use the mix and match videos together to create your own versions that make sense for your audiences.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Volunteer and Job Opportunities
The 988 network is made up of over 200 centers answering calls, chats, and texts from people in crisis. These centers are looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees. You will receive training, so if you are a caring person who wants to help those in crisis, apply today!
Information on Funding for the 988 Roll Out
Not all states are at the same part of the 988 funding process. For information on where each state is at in the funding process, review NAMI legistration tracker.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded nearly $105 million to states and territories to strengthen crisis call center services in advance of the July transition to 988. Click here to learn more!
NASMHPD 988 Webpage
NASMHPD has identified resources to support state and territorial mental/behavioral health authorities and key stakeholders in implementing and strengthening 988 crisis service systems.
States' Experiences in Legislating 988 and Crisis Services Systems
About one half of all states have introduced and/or passed laws regarding 988 (some states with provisions for studies), and many more are in progress for 2022. This paper from the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) provides information on the states’ legislative experiences, various aspects of the laws they have attempted to enact or have successfully enacted, methods of financing their crisis systems, and the interface between 988 and 911.
Resources for Crisis Services
#BeThe1To: Five Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain
The five action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal are supported by evidence in the field of suicide prevention.
The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and its Crisis Now partners have launched #CrisisTalk, sparking much-needed dialogue on behavioral health crises. The new publication provides a platform for diverse experts and people with Lived Experience to exchange thoughts, knowledge, and innovations. Resources on the website include:
Addressing Substance Use in Behavioral Health Crisis Care
For information on the essential service components in the crisis care continuum and exceptional practices for addressing substance use in behavioral health crisis download the "Addressing Substance Use in Behavioral Health Crisis Care: A Companion Resource to the SAMHSA Crisis Toolkit."
CCBHCs: Incubator for Innovation and Improving Crisis Services
The NASMHPD Annual 2021 Meeting Session, "CCBHCs: Incubator for Innovation and Improving Crisis Services", was presented by Chuck Ingoglia, M.S.W., President and Chief Executive Officer, National Council for Wellbeing and Carrie Slatton-Hodges, L.C.S.W., Commissioner, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Crisis Services: Meeting Needs, Saving Lives
This SAMHSA resource, Crisis Services: Meeting Needs, Saving Lives, is composed of SAMHSA’s National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care: Best Practice Toolkit and related papers on crisis services.
Digital Shareables on Suicide Prevention
Suicide is a major public health concern. More than 45,900 people die by suicide each year in the United States; it is the 12th leading cause of death overall. Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. This webpage from the National Institute of Mental Health offers resources to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
Facebook Live: The Intersection of Suicide and Substance Use
In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month in September, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) are co-hosting a Facebook Live event on September 15, 2022, discussing the intersection of suicide and substance use. You can join the event by going to NIMH's Facebook page.
National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Care
These guidelines are intended to assist states and communities with the development and implementation of effective crisis services and systems.
Ready to Respond: Mental Health Beyond Crisis and COVID-19
Commissioned by SAMHSA and executed by The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the Ready to Respond compendium provides 10 authoritative papers on critical topics of our time related to crisis services and post-COVID-19 vision for mental health services.
To learn more about 988 and Behavioral Health Crisis Services check out these great articles below:
- 988, Shared Accountability, and Equity in Behavioral Health Crisis Services
- Dr. Sharon Hoover on How Schools Are Stakeholders in Mental Health Crisis
- Groundbreaking Developments in Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Service Provision
- HHS Secretary: 988 Transition Moves Us Closer to Better Serving the Crisis Care Needs of People Across America
- Improving the Child and Adolescent Crisis System: Shifting from a 9-1-1 to a 9-8-8 Paradigm
A special thank you to the Northwest MHTTC for helping curate the content on this page.