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National 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Launches in Ohio

National 988

On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) transitioned to the 3-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.  Ohioans who are experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis, and their family members, are now able to call, text, or chat 988 in order to reach a trained call specialist who can offer help and support.

The easy-to-remember, 3-digit number will provide greater access to life-saving services, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) continues to work with federal, state, and local partners and stakeholders to ensure the implementation of 988 is successful across the state.

Ohio's 988 plan is part of the state's larger commitment to providing quality, person-centered crisis supports in communities across the state.

Community Resources

The resources and information on this page are designed to help Ohio’s local community partners, mental health and substance use disorder professionals, and others looking for information on understanding the background, history, funding opportunities, and implementation resources for strengthening suicide prevention and mental health crisis services. 988 goes live on all devices on July 16, 2022.

Important Links

988 Planning Process 

Federal legislation requires all states to transition from a 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number to 988 by July 16, 2022. In Ohio, a diverse group of interested stakeholders met as the 988 Planning Committee to develop a roadmap for how 988 will help align the state’s crisis care system in a unified network – accessible by calling the easy to remember 988 number. Prominent issues they explored as part of that work included: 

  • Increasing Ohio’s call center coverage, including text and chat. 
  • Enhancing quality of services, referrals and follow-up with callers. 
  • Interfacing with 911, 211 and other helplines, hotlines and warmlines around the state. 
  • Ensuring a shared resource directory for mobile response, referrals, crisis stabilization, other services. 
  • Aligning how crisis services are dispatched through a 988 network. 
  • Marketing the new number to build awareness and make behavioral health crisis services more visible. 
  • Engaging in needs assessment to determine benchmarks of Lifeline calls and services. 
  • Establishing the state’s 988 regulatory and funding structure utilizing data from needs assessment.

Important Links

Meeting Notes

988 Legislation

House Bill 468, sponsored by Representative Gail Pavliga, establishes a 988 Administrator within the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to oversee the administration of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in Ohio and creates the 988 Fund in the State Treasury to receive all dedicated funds for the operations of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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