The 988

The Federal Communication Commission first proposed 988 in a report to Congress in August 2019 as the nationwide, easy-to-remember, 3-digit dialing code for individuals in crisis to connect to suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Healthcare Certification and Accreditation Services).

The hotline released to the public “988” represents the training wheels to the federal governments outcry for mental health crisis services needed in the United States. The hotline is available to anyone who finds themselves in a mental health crisis and is encouraged to reach out. They have multiple forms of contact whether by call, text message, or chat. Once contact is made, individuals are transferred directly to a trained mental health counselors located at the closet crisis center (Healthcare Certification and Accreditation Services).

Measures have been taken for when contact is transferred to any said center. If the specific center is overwhelmed with calls a call is then rerouted to the 16 other backup centers around the country to make sure individuals are provided fast access to help.

Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, shared at a previous briefing that if individuals are willing to turn to someone in their moment of crisis, 988 will be there. He went on further to say that 988 won't have busy signals or put people on hold, help will be offered (Healthcare Certification and Accreditation Services).

“988 is a step that Iowa is taking to allow greater access to mental and behavioral healthcare resources for when people of our communities or others are in need,” said Public Health Director, Zach Woods.

Greater Regional Health houses versatile providers if long-term challenges arise to assist in helping others to attain healthy, wholesome, lives. Please visit our services page to find the best trajectory for your health needs!

Sources: “Healthcare Certification and Accreditation Services by DNVXX.” DNV, 22 July 2022,