About 988: Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

NW PA Counties graphicThe Northwest Pennsylvania (NW PA) Veteran Suicide Prevention Program operates on a three-pronged approach involving healthcare providers, community organizations, and Veterans and their families. While the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is not a partner for this Program, their information, services, and policies work in tandem with with our stakeholders to support resiliency best-practices and Veteran suicide reduction.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to know more about our work in NW PA communities.

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The Transition to 988

SAMSHA logoIn 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to be operated through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. SAMHSA sees 988 as a first step towards a transformed crisis care system in America. The 988 number is scheduled to go live on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

On that day, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) will transition to an easy-to-remember, 3-digit number (988). This represents an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen and expand the existing network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country.

The easy-to-remember, three-digit dialing, texting, and chat code is for anyone experiencing a suicidal or mental health related crisis or emotional distress. The dialing and texting code will be 988 (those texting can say anything to open the dialogue, such as ‘Hello’ or ‘I’m not feeling well’), while those wanting to use the chat can visit 988Lifeline.org.

To support the transition, SAMHSA has developed a 988 Partner Toolkit to equip the field with key messages, answers to frequently asked questions, branding guidelines, etc.

Read more about 988 at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988

friends standing togetherLooking to Get Involved?

Whether you identify as a healthcare provider, community organization, or Veteran, there are several opportunities through the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program and PERU to connect to resources, participate in educational training, and promote harm reduction strategies. We are actively recruiting healthcare and community partners to work with us in meeting our goals and objectives. To learn more, visit the program website at theresilientveteran.org.


Need Help? Know Someone Who Does? Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat. Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.

University of Pittsburgh PERU logo