RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – This summer, a new three-digit number will go live nationwide to support those in crisis.
9-8-8 will be the new dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It will replace the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK. The number will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
“9-8-8 is an easy-to-remember number people can access from wherever they are and get the help they need. This is a resource that will save lives and is an important investment in supporting the behavioral health and resilience of North Carolinians,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley.
NCDHHS announced Wednesday they were awarded $3.3 million to expand support for people in mental health crisis. The funding is meant to help the state transition the current Suicide Prevention Lifeline to the 9-8-8 number.
NCDHHS said they expected call volume is expected to increase with the switch. The state said grant funds would be used to ensure the call center is staffed with trained counselors.
“We are excited for the rollout of 9-8-8 and want to ensure every caller receives quick access to the help they need,” said Deepa Avula, Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. “This will be instrumental in increasing access to crisis services in our communities.”
This grant will run from April 30, 2022–April 29, 2024.