The new 9-8-8 crisis lifeline went live this July. The new number replaced the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and is an easy-to-remember number nationwide for people to call for mental health emergencies. Anyone having thoughts of suicide, a mental health crisis, or substance use concerns, or worried about a loved one who may need crisis support, can call or text 988 to get help from a trained crisis counselor. This new national line is an important step toward strengthening and transforming the crisis care continuum in the U.S..
This new line also transitions the nationwide Veterans Crisis Line. If you are a veteran, dial 988 and press 1. Callers will be screened for veteran status and connected to national and local veteran resources such as the King County Veterans Program.
Give your Input at Listening Sessions
To support the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the Washington State Department of Health is seeking your input. In 2021, the state Legislature passed a law requiring the Washington State Department of Health to develop standards for crisis call centers to become crisis call center hubs.
To help create these rules, the Department of Health will host three listening sessions. They want to hear from people who have used crisis call lines for themselves or for others, crisis call center staff, crisis responders, and others. They also want to learn how rules related to 988 crisis call center hubs standards could affect you, and will conduct two workshops to help write the rules.
Listening Session 1:
Thursday, November 3, 6-8 p.m. Audience: People who called a crisis line for themselves. Sign up here.
Listening Session 2:
Thursday, November 10, 6-8 p.m. Audience: People who used a crisis line for others. Sign up here.
Listening Session 3:
Wednesday, November 16, 4-6 p.m. Audience: Crisis call center staff, responders, behavioral health care providers. Sign up here.
For more information about the 988 crisis call centers, and the set questions for each listening session, please see the Rulemaking for 988 Crisis Call Center Hubs flyers (links below):
If you’re unable to attend the listening sessions but want to share your input, please email Ashley Noble, Division of Prevention and Community Health Rules Coordinator, with any questions about the sessions or comments, at 988ProgramInfo@doh.wa.gov
King County recommends people still call the Regional Crisis Line at Crisis Connections
If you or a loved one is actively experiencing a behavioral health crisis, King County still recommends you call the King County Regional Crisis Line at Crisis Connections at 206-461-3222, or 1-866-427-4747, or www.CrisisConnections.org. Crisis Connections is the best way to connect to local crisis response services.
King County Department of Community and Human Services will continue to promote and direct people in need of help regionally to the King County Regional Crisis Line. You can learn more about Crisis Services within our Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) here. Both the 206-461-3222, or 1-866-427-4747 numbers are operated by Crisis Connections, but the County line directly connects individuals with crisis services such as designated crisis responders and mobile crisis teams.