Nationwide Launch of New Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number 9-8-8
The Department of Social Services and 2-1-1 Helpline Center are excited to announce the launch of 9-8-8 is now available. The three digit number is accessible in multiple languages via text or call and via chat (English only). Calling or texting 9-8-8 will connect people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. On July 16, 2022 South Dakota will be able to use the new 9-8-8 number to be met with compassionate, accessible care and support available for anyone experiencing mental health–related distress. In South Dakota, the 988 Lifeline will be answered by the Helpline Center. 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.
The Lifeline works! Since the Helpline Center began answering the Lifeline in 2005, it has served as an invaluable resource, helping thousands of people overcome suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress every day. With the transition to 988, these life-saving services will be even easier to reach.
In preparation for the transition of the Lifeline to 988, the Helpline Center, the South Dakota Department of Social Services and partners from across the state in the public and private sectors are working together to provide guidance and resources to make the 988 transition easier.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is coming to South Dakota. And there is tremendous need, given:
• In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes.
• For people ages 10–34, suicide is a leading cause of death in South Dakota.
• In South Dakota, there were 84 drug related deaths in 2020.
To learn more please visit 988 – Helpline Center or About 988 — South Dakota Suicide Prevention (sdsuicideprevention.org).