On July 16, 2022, we, in Illinois, will join the rest of the United States in beginning to use the 988 dialing code. 988 will be the new three-digit number for calls (multiple languages), people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health–related distress. As the launch of 988 continues to roll out statewide, the ability to text and chat (English only) via 988 will be forthcoming. People can use 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
While this is an exciting time to reimagine how we provide crisis services in the U.S., the full vision of a transformed crisis care system with 988 at its core will not be built overnight. Transformation of this scale will take time, and we must all work together to make it happen. It is important that we speak with one voice about 988 to ensure clear understanding about what it is and how it will work. As SAMHSA continues updating its partner toolkit and providing guidance on 988 implementation, we look forward to working with all of you to bring these critical services to our community.
In preparation for the transition of the Lifeline to 988, the federal government and partners from across many industries in the public and private sectors are working together to provide guidance and resources to make our work a little easier. Please respectfully withhold from sharing these resources until after the July 16 statewide launch.
IDHS has provided a Partner Toolkit that provides public-facing messaging and social posts that we encourage you to share with your following to raise awareness about the upcoming launch.
Your voice and support are critical to the success of 988. We look forward to partnering with you to provide life-saving services for those who need it most.