Wisconsin Medical Society
July 21, 2022
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (Lifeline), a free, confidential behavioral health and support line is now available. Anyone can utilize the Lifeline at any time by calling 988 (multiple languages available), texting a message to 988 (English only), or using the chat feature at 988lifeline.org (English only). People can connect with a trained crisis counselor to get help for themselves or a loved one experiencing a crisis, such as is thoughts of suicide, a mental health concern, substance use issue or any kind of emotional distress.
Additional details about the Lifeline:
- Wisconsin Lifeline counselors are trained to reduce stress, provide emotional support and connect people with local resources.
- The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available to use at no cost to Wisconsin residents. Additional care or intervention may come with a cost.
- Wisconsin Lifeline is not able to send an in-person response directly. An in-person response requires a transfer to another service and could involve law enforcement.
- Calls, texts and chats with Wisconsin Lifeline are confidential between the person and counselor, unless there is imminent danger for the person or others.
Jerry Halverson, MD, DFAPA, WisMed Board Chair and Rogers Behavioral Health Chief Medical Officer, told Fox6, "The purpose of 988 is to help you get over that crisis point, and get you someone that can help you more definitively. This is going to open up access to a lot of people who wouldn’t have taken advantage in the past. It can be a game-changer."
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a network of more than 200 support centers around the country. Contacts not answered by in-state partners roll over to a national backup system. The Wisconsin Lifeline has helped ensure that as many contacts as possible are answered by Wisconsin-based counselors who have the best understanding of local communities, cultures and resources.
Learn more about Lifeline here.