Formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, dialing 988 offers 24-7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal thoughts, struggles with substance use, mental health crises or any other kind of emotional distress.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people and the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide is often preventable. People can dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
“The 988 hotline also provides free crisis screening and intervention services for people of all ages, regardless of whether they have health insurance,” said Diana Knaebe, system administrator for Memorial Behavioral Health. “Our counselors have taken calls from people facing emotional distress, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse crises and callers seeking help for loved ones. It is an important resource.”
Calls are answered locally by MBH employees. People can also call the Mobile Crisis Response at 217-788-7070, which is a service available around the clock to residents of Christian, Logan, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon and Scott counties.
Callers to 988 are not required to provide any personal information, and the crisis counselor who responds will not know anything about the caller beyond a phone number or IP address, if using chat.