Suicide And Mental Health Hotline 988 : Short Wave People experiencing a mental health crisis have a new way to reach out for help in the U.S. — calling or texting the numbers 9-8-8. Today, health correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee joins Scientist in Residence Regina G. Barber to talk about how the hotline works, the U.S. mental health system and what this alternative to 911 means for people in crisis.

Further Reading:
- The new 988 mental health hotline is live. Here's what to know
- Social Media Posts Criticize the 988 Suicide Hotline for Calling Police. Here's What You Need to Know

Below is a non-comprehensive list of other hotlines and resources from our colleague Aneri Pattani at Kaiser Health News. Some resources may geographically limit services.
- BlackLine is a hotline geared toward the Black, Black LGBTQ+, brown, Native, and Muslim communities
- Kiva Centers offers daily online peer support groups
- M.H. First Oakland and M.H. First Sacramento operate during select weekend hours in the California cities of Oakland and Sacramento
- Peer Support Space hosts virtual peer support groups twice a day Monday through Saturday
- Project LETS provides support by text for urgent issues that involve involuntary hospitalization
- Samaritans of New York is a hotline based in New York City
- Trans Lifeline is a hotline for trans and questioning individuals
- Wildflower Alliance has a peer support line and online support groups focused on suicide prevention

Follow Short Wave on Twitter @NPRShortWave. You can email us at ShortWave@NPR.org.

988: An Alternative To 911 For Mental Health

988: An Alternative To 911 For Mental Health

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The new mental health hotline 9-8-8 is live in the US. People experiencing a mental health crisis can simply call or text the number for help. EMS-FORSTER-PRODUCTIONS/Getty Images hide caption

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EMS-FORSTER-PRODUCTIONS/Getty Images

The new mental health hotline 9-8-8 is live in the US. People experiencing a mental health crisis can simply call or text the number for help.

EMS-FORSTER-PRODUCTIONS/Getty Images

People in the U.S. experiencing a mental health crisis have a new way to reach out for help — calling or texting the numbers 9-8-8. Today, health correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee joins Scientist in Residence Regina G. Barber to talk about how the hotline works, the U.S. mental health system and what this alternative to 911 means for people in crisis.

Below are other hotlines and resources from our colleague Aneri Pattani at Kaiser Health News. The list is not comprehensive, and some resources may limit their services geographically.

Follow Short Wave on Twitter @NPRShortWave. You can email us at ShortWave@NPR.org.

This episode was produced by Thomas Lu, edited by Rebecca Ramirez and fact-checked by Berly McCoy. The audio engineer was Josh Newell.