9-8-8 Update: Crisis Hotline is Live

On Saturday, July 16th, the nationwide 9-8-8 hotline providing suicide and mental health crisis interventions went live.

The hotline will operate 24 hours a day for seven days a week. With 9-8-8’s launch, its predecessor, the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, will be phased out.

At a launch event held on July 15 in Philadelphia, PA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra delivered the following remarks:

Too many of us are experiencing suicidal crisis or mental health distress without the support and care we need. Too many of us as parents are worried about our children’s mental well-being but feel we have nowhere to turn. Too many of our families have been devastated by a record-breaking overdose epidemic…

9-8-8. Three digits. Easy to remember, but more than a number. 988 is a MESSAGE.

When you hear ‘911,’ you think emergency and rescue. Starting tomorrow, when you hear 988, think crisis and rescue. If you’re about to fall, reach out! We will catch you.

In May, Maryland received $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to implement 9-8-8. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has assembled a toolkit for counties seeking to assist in 9-8-8 efforts, including helpful links to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) partner toolkit and other materials.

During MACo’s 2022 Summer Conference, a panel of state officials will join together to discuss MD THINK during the session “Health and Technology: The Future of Healthcare.” MD THINK is a cloud-based utility intended to help state and local officials link their communities to the care they need, much like the 9-8-8 program.

Read the full SAMHSA press release.

See NACo’s 9-8-8 Resources.

The 2022 MACo Summer Conference will take place at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD, from August 17-20. This year’s theme is “Taking Care of Business.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: