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GUEST POST: 988: A New Three-Digit Lifeline

By Bart Brewer & Gary Marschke; NAMI Clackamas |

Congress passed legislation in Fall 2020 designating 988 as the three-digit number to connect people to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The goal was to create a simple and memorable phone number to connect with effective help in the moment. As of July 16, 2022, anyone dialing 988 in the U.S. will be connected LIVE to the Lifeline. (988 FCC Fact sheet)

Currently, when calling 988, a trained crisis counselor answers the phone and listens to the caller, and provides support and sharing resources if needed. Some critics have noted that 988 will still send police to callers if they are determined to be a threat to themselves or others. While roughly only 2% of calls end in such a way, NAMI hopes this number can one day become zero.

NAMI Oregon provides regular updates on the work being done around mental health in Oregon. If you’d like to stay informed, or even get involved, visit our website at


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