988 may sound familiar to you.  It is the nationwide, three-digit dialing code that connects anyone experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis with a trained counselor.  Until 2022, 988 was known as the National Suicide Hotline which was created in 2005.  2022 was the year all phone companies and mobile providers were required to route all calls and texts to 988.

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While 988 is free, confidential, and available 24/7/365 via phone call, text, or online chat, the Washington State Department of Health has also launched a website in conjunction with the 988 hotline.  988.org is part of the state’s larger Suicide & Crisis awareness campaign to build on, and complement, the existing national framework.

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Michele Roberts, Assistant Secretary, Prevention and Community Health Division said regarding the launch of the site:

We hope this new website provides more awareness of this lifesaving free and confidential service, encourages people to use the lifeline, and supports a more compassionate and accessible mental and behavioral health care system.

DOH's new website answers frequently asked questions about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, how it works, who it supports, how people can use it to support a loved one in crisis, and how to contact 988.

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The 988 Lifeline Awareness Campaign was initiated by House Bill 1134, which called for Washington State to align with the National 988 Lifeline awareness campaign.  It also set out to address the general population as well as  specific priority audiences.  The website is already up and accessible.

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