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BREAKING NEWS

Suicide prevention line will be 988

By Staff | Feb 12, 2021

From the Iowa Dept. of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been awarded the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 State Planning Grant through Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Through the grant, IDPH will participate in the development of strategic plans for Iowa in preparation for the projected infrastructure needs, volume growth, and access to the Lifeline’s new 988 number. Vibrant has awarded grants to 49 states and territories.

In July 2022, 988 will become the national three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Americans needing support should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until then.

Alongside the Iowa Department of Human Services, CommUnity Crisis Services and Foodbank and Foundation 2, IDPH will develop clear roadmaps to address coordination, capacity, funding, and communications surrounding the launch of 988. IDPH will collaborate with state leadership, suicide prevention experts, people with lived experience, and others to create a 988 implementation plan and support the Lifeline’s operational, clinical, and performance standards that allow access to care.

The new 988 number, once implemented, will ensure the Lifeline will continue to be America’s mental health safety net by providing emotional support for people in distress, reducing suicides and mental health crises, and providing a pathway to well-being for all.