New 988 number available for people with mental health crises

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The Tennessee Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness encourages people struggling with mental health crises to tap into a valuable and potentially life-saving resource.

The new 988 phone number connects callers with mental health professionals to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“We know 988 will save countless lives,” said Allen Bartels, NAMI Tennessee CEO and longtime behavioral health executive. “We applaud all partners and agencies working together to provide this invaluable resource for people experiencing a mental health crisis.”

988 is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, substance use problem, or any other type of emotional distress, not just suicide-related crises.

“988 is a game changer for every Tennessee,” said Jeff Fladen, executive director of NAMI Tennessee. “If you or someone you know is experiencing any type of mental health distress, you can call or text 988 and you’ll be greeted on the other end of the line by compassionate and approachable mental health professionals. This burden has been on our 911 drivers and first responders for far too long, and they are finally getting some much-needed help.”

People can also dial 988 if they are concerned about a loved one who may need support during a crisis.

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