HomeVeterans’ NewsNew Number for Suicide Crisis Line: 988

New Number for Suicide Crisis Line: 988

By Freddy Groves
Across the country there is a
new mental health suicide and
crisis line phone number: 988.

The Department of Veterans Af-
fairs has merged services with that

number to provide an additional
resource for veterans to call when
they’re in crisis.
A result of the National Suicide
Hotline Designation Act of 2020,
the bill was passed and signed

off as law. It’s startling, howev-
er, to learn that this bill was first

created and sponsored by 34 U.S.
senators in 2019. (You can go
here to learn whether your state’s

senators were among those sup-
porting this legislation: www.con-
ate-bill/2661.) Additionally, it was

signed into law in 2020.
But these things take time.
It wasn’t until the middle of this
year, 2022, that the 988 number
was hooked up to the VA crisis
line. During the two years, the

VA beefed up the number of em-
ployees and responding staff by

the hundreds. It hooks up 500 sui-
cide prevention coordinators at the

VA, which ensures that follow-up
care is part of the care a veteran
You can call that 988 number,
then press 1 for the Veterans Crisis
Line. Or you can call the original
number: 800-273-8255. Or you
can text to 838255. And you also

can instantly chat at www.veteran-

There are a number of options

to help veterans who need suicide
crisis help, and it’s immediate.
Somebody will answer 24/7, and
you’ll be asked a couple of quick
questions, such as whether you are
the veteran or if you’re calling for
a veteran who is at risk of suicide
or is in immediate danger. It’s all
confidential and free. By the next
day someone local (your suicide

prevention coordinator) will con-
tact you and get you lined up for

continued support.
Go to the “Get Help Now” link
above and click around, especially
on “How It Works.”
Remember, you don’t have to
be enrolled in any VA programs
for health care or benefits. If you
are a veteran, this service is for
you. You’re not alone.



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