988 Frequently Asked Questions Video Series
To help you and your loved ones become familiar with 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, please explore the below FAQ videos presented by LACDMH experts Jennifer Hallman and Shawn Kim.
- What is 988 and how do I use it?
- Who can use 988 and is it free?
- When should I use 988? Can I use 988 even if I am not in a crisis?
- What is the main difference between 988 and 911?
- Will law enforcement be involved when I use 988?
- Can I call 988 for someone other than myself?
- When will field intervention teams be sent out to assist?
- Will 988 automatically send law enforcement with field intervention teams?
- Can I call 988 for assistance with a person experiencing homelessness?
- Will 988 share information with immigration agencies?
- What languages are 988 services available in?
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline officially launched across the United States on July 16, 2022. Comprised of a national network of local crisis centers, 988 counselors provide free, confidential, 24/7 support and resources to people experiencing or affected by suicidal, mental health, and/or substance use crisis. Callers can access this lifesaving service by simply calling or texting 988, or via online chat on their website.
In Los Angeles County, 988 calls are handled by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, and their 988 team will coordinate with LACDMH’s Help Line staff to provide appropriate information, resources, and referrals to L.A. County callers.
Note: While 988 is the successor to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), the 10-digit number remains operational and will automatically route callers to the 988 Lifeline.
In addition to the above video series, we encourage you learn more about 988 through the below resources.