Identification Number:
EM 22047 REV
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Announcement of the New 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
Retention Date: February 08, 2023

Summary of Changes:

Subsection C-Corrected grammatical error.

    A. Purpose
      The purpose of this Emergency Message is to announce the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transition to the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), and the number became available across the United States on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

      B. Background
      The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

      This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. The previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.

      The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness. They also have chat availability, assistance in Spanish and assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing (TTY users may use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988). When individuals call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary. More information can be found at

      C. Instructions
        Continue to follow current policy guidance on notifying management staff and appropriate community services or law enforcement agencies if the person you are interviewing threatens suicide. Also use the VIP system to alert management and other FO personnel to potential threats of suicide or homicidal behavior in the office. Suggest help at the nearby crisis prevention center and provide the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Use any other local office guidelines, as appropriate.

      Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff using vHelp or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns, or problems to their Central Office contacts.


      DI 11005.076 Interviewing People with a Mental Impairment(s)
      DI 11005.080 Field Offices (FOs) Handling Potential Suicidal or Homicidal Threats
      GN 00203.013 Interviewing People Who Act Hostile

      EM 22047 REV - Announcement of the New 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - 9/8/2022