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What is 988? How can it save your life?

National Institute of Mental Health reported that suicide is the second foremost cause of death in the United States. And still, the suicidal rate is steadily increasing daily, specifically in 10-24 years old adults. Thanks to the Federal Communications Commission, which has developed a new three-digit number, 988, for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in this pathetic situation.

The lifeline number comes with professional staff to respond to calls from the people at risk for suicide and those experiencing other mental health issues and addiction-related emergencies.

Let's know more about what 988 is and how it can save your life.

What is 988?

988 is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline designated by FCC in July 2020. It is mental health crisis number that professional counselors handle. That staff is highly trained to help out people who are passing through emotion, mental distress, or any suicidal crises.

However, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline shows that about 98% of callers didn't need emergency services. Still, they want to receive these mental health services to solve their mild mental problems. Nevertheless, 2% of calls require an emergency service by the counselors.

Mission of 988

988 has its clear mission and vision as follows

  • Vsioni

A three-digit number, 988, serves as America's Mental health safety net. We will decrease suicidal rates and mental health issues and offer the right route to well-being.

  • Mission

Everyone in the United States and its other regions will have instant access to significant suicide prevention, mental crisis services, and behavioral health care via dialing 988.

Key features of 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

Here are the three main themes of the 988 system that you need to keep in mind;

1. A finest personalized experience that is customized to the unique requirements of the individual with identifying the best practices

2. Global and easiest access, as well as a universal public awareness for an individual to access 988 via their best-fitted method of communication

3. A strong connection to resources and follow-up ensures all individuals dealing with 988 receive additional community resources as required.

How can 988 save your life?

The people of every age, color, and community with mental health crises ended up with only the tragedy of tragic outcomes like death or suicide if it couldn’t capture at the outset. Especially in the United States, mental health crises and suicidal attempt rates increase steadily between the age of 10-24.

So, the FCC designed a 988 three-digit Suicide Prevention Lifeline for assisting emergency conditions. 988 call responses by a professional team of a counselor with better outcomes. This staff gives immediate service and support to the caller they need at that time.

Further, the highly trained staff of 988 networks listen to the caller and understand how their crises impact them, offer valuable support, and connect them with better resources if required. And the data provided by the network report that callers experience less depression, are less suicidal, are less overwhelmed, and are incredibly helpful after talking with 988 counselors.

So, in this way, 988 Lifeline is not just helping the people but saving thousands of life by guiding them towards well-being.

Moreover, 988 offers an opportunity to counsel through phone calls instead of police. Because people who fight mental health crises are needed to visit appropriate places for assessment and counseling that is not a jail, which is only the choice for law enforcement to offer frequently; in this way, 988 proved an incredible discovery of the United States to save people's lives.

How can we improve the 988 Lifeline?

The 988 tries to keep the promise of an adequate and immediate health care response with the upfront positive results as numerous people perceive support and services they require to live and prosper in their communities.

But this promise will only be fulfilled if strong resources favor increased chat, call, text, volume, and the continuum of problem care services that can occur from the 988 calls. Further, crises care services become more effective when they respond to and support persons with diverse backgrounds and life experiences since they are trained to support the caller in empowering, motivating, and culturally responsive way.

Moreover, this Lifeline comes with an opportunity to invest in more behavioral health crisis services, peer respite centers, and other rehab services, which allow for the caller in need to receive mental health support, evaluation, and resources.  

Final thought

988 is a Suicide Prevention Lifeline serving in the United States and helps thousands of people entangled in mental and behavioral crises. A highly trained counselor team responds to the caller and helps them out with the support and instant service as required. It has saved millions of lives and guided them to well-being.

Such services deserved some reliable resources to empower their efforts and services. Every country should design convenient Lifeline services so people can live their best without crises