988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

About 988

988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), and is now active across the United States.

When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.

The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

The Lifeline’s network of over 200 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005, and has been proven to be effective. It’s the counselors at these local crisis centers who answer the contacts the Lifeline receives every day. Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.


Trained staff at Personal Assistance Telephone Help, or PATH, who also fields 211 calls locally, handles the calls to 988 within Winnebago County, as well as many other counties throughout Illinois.

Donations from supporters of United Way of Rock River Valley help fund PATH's operations.

For more information on PATH, click here.

For any agency, organization, company, or individual looking to spread the word about the 988 and 211 helplines, feel free to use the following material.

For ways to support your local Lifeline network crisis center, visit the Crisis Centers page here.

To learn about the impact of the Lifeline, visit the By the Numbers page.

To learn about what happens when you call, text, or chat with the Lifeline, click here.

To learn more about the history of 988, visit here.

If you’re a Veteran, Service Member, or loved one and want to know more about how 988 will affect the Veterans Crisis Line, click here.