Implementation of the 988 Number Brought More Calls and Texts to the National Suicide Prevention and Crisis Hotline This Summer—And Early Data Show Answer Rates Improved or Held Steady

November 11, 2022

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

KFF Newsroom

In the month after its transition to a three-digit number, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline experienced a substantial increase in call, text, and chat volume compared to a year earlier. According to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, answer rates also increased in that period, suggesting that more 988 users were able to connect with a crisis counselor. The analysis also found wait times went down for all methods of contact combined, decreasing from 2 minutes and 30 seconds in August 2021 to 42 seconds in August 2022. The authors noted that their analysis was based on publicly available federal data, which could be complemented by other state and national crisis center data to help inform the future direction of 988 services and infrastructure.

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