988 Implementation: A Message and Resources from the National Council

July 14, 2022

Below is a message from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing:

Ahead of Saturday’s 988 implementation, we want to share a compilation of resources for your reference. 

Starting Saturday, the Lifeline will be known as the “988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.”  

  • Implementing 988 and Future Priorities – a resource created by National Council, in collaboration with NASHMPD, NACo, and Vibrant Emotional Health. This factsheet includes an overview of 988, a side-by-side comparison of 911 and 988 current capabilities, and next steps on how to expand access to crisis care.
  • SAMHSA’s 988 webpage, including information on understanding the background, history, funding opportunities, and implementation resources for strengthening suicide prevention and mental health crisis services
  • 988 Key Messages, including helpful talking points on the transition as well as:
    • What happens when you call/text/chat the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
    • Difference between federal, state, and administrator roles
  • Provider Playbook, including guidance around preparing for the 988 transition and best practices and examples seen in the field today

988 Communication Resources and SAMHSA Points of Contact:

988 Media Inquiry Referrals:

Lastly, we know Saturday is just the beginning of the transition. More funding and resources are needed to expand crisis care capacity to realize the vision of 988. It’s critical we continue to highlight these needs. To this point, we are continuing to advocate for the 9-8-8 Implementation Act and using every media opportunity we have to call attention to existing needs. There will also be a full-page ad (including National Council) in the Washington Post Saturday directing people toward the #ReimagineCrisis campaign, which is designed to continue calling attention to the need for more 988 implementation and crisis care support.

If you have any questions ahead of Saturday or at any point during the beginning of implementation, don’t hesitate to reach out.