National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Launches New 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Launches New 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The lifeline is available for mental health and suicide crisis support seven days per week, 24 hours per day.

On Saturday, 988 officially launched as a new lifeline for suicide and mental health crisis support.

According to a fact sheet, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline will help “people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress” with emotional support. People can call, text or chat 988 to be connected to one of over 200 crisis centers, some run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The lifeline is free and confidential. It is open seven days per week, 24 hours per day.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline used to be National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The phone number associated with this name, 1-800-273-8255, “will always remain available,” 988’s website says.

Mental health and suicide crisis affect thousands of people every year, including workers. Since the start of the pandemic, studies show that the number of workers with mental health issues is increasing. According to a study from The Standard, in 2019, only 39 percent of respondents said they suffer from mental health issues and 7 percent suffered from “serious mental illness.” In 2020, 46 percent said they suffered from these issues, and 11 percent were “suffering from serious mental illness.”

Suicide rates are also a serious concern. In less than 20 years from 2017, the suicide rate increased by 40 percent for people of working age, according to the CDC. That year, nearly 38,000 people aged 16-64 died from suicide. The top five industries with high suicide rates were estimated as “Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction (males); 2) Construction (males); 3) Other Services (e.g., automotive repair) (males); 4) Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting (males); and 5) Transportation and Warehousing (males and females),” the CDC website notes. 

For more resources on mental health and suicide prevention in the workplace, visit NSC’s articles Promote Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing and NSC Consulting: Take Advantage of Our Wealth of Expertise. Listen to OH&S’ How to Support Employee Mental Health & Wellness podcast for more information.

For resources on suicide prevention in the construction industry, visit:

Editor’s note: The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is not just for workers. It is open to everyone in the United States.

Photo credit: Lisa Schulz / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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