Hopkinton Officials Share Information on New National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number

By contributor,
youth and family services

Police Chief Joseph Bennett, Fire Chief William Miller and Hopkinton Youth & Family Services Director Dawn Alcott wish to share information regarding the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 988, which took effect on Saturday, July 16.

The 988 dialing code is the new national number routing callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline across the U.S. The new phone line is accessible 24/7/365 by call or text.

The new number was designated by Congress in 2020. Similar to calling 911 for emergency response, the three-digit number is easy to remember for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts or struggling with emotional distress, or for those worried about a friend or loved one.

When individuals call or text 988 they will be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides free and confidential emotional support. The Lifeline's network of trained counselors will listen, understand how the caller’s problems are affecting them, provide support and connect them to resources if necessary. The Lifeline can also be reached through online chat suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

Language translation services are also available to all callers, including the Spanish Language Line, which can be accessed by pressing 2 after dialing.

Military service members, veterans and their families may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing 9-8-8, as well as by chatting online at veteranscrisisline.net or texting 838255.

LGBTQ youth may also use the Trevor Lifeline by calling 1-866-488-7386 or texting 678-678 to access information and support for LGBTQ youth.

The current Lifeline hotline number, 1-800-273-8255, remains in service even with the launch of 988. Dialing either number will route callers to the same services, no matter which number they use.

According to the Lifeline, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people, and, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, was the tenth-leading cause of death in the nation. The Lifeline has received over 20 million calls from people in distress looking for support from its inception in 2005 to 2020. The Lifeline, through providing timely access to support, helps reduce to reduce suicide risk and saves lives.

Anyone who may be struggling or knows someone who is struggling is encouraged to call the Lifeline for help and to get the necessary resources. To learn more about 988, click here. To learn more about how calls to the Lifeline are routed, click here.

Hopkinton Youth and Family Services would also like to remind community members of several other resources that are available to them including:
Mindwise Behavioral Health Screening for access to 14 free, confidential, validated, behavioral health screenings
Interface Helpline to assist in finding an outpatient mental health provider Advocates Psychiatric Emergency Response if experiencing a mental health or emotional health crisis
Anyone who would like to learn more about available behavioral health resources can visit the Hopkinton Youth and Family Services website.

Community members are also encouraged to call 911 if they or someone they know is experiencing a crisis or in an immediate emergency.