Starting July 16, Veterans experiencing a mental health crisis can now reach the Veterans' Crisis Line with a new, easy-to-remember phone number - dial 988 and press 1.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020, nearly 46,000 people died by suicide -- one death every 11 minutes.
The new three-digit dialing code is intended to be easier to access and remember than the 1-800-SUICIDE number, according to the 988 messaging website.
The new code does not replace 1-800-273-8255. Veterans and their loved ones may still dial 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to get to the Veterans' Crisis Line. Veterans do not need to be enrolled in VA health care to call the crisis line. People who are not a Veteran and having suicidal thoughts can call or text 988 to reach a professional counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
All calls and texts made to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans' Crisis Line are anonymous.