Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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988 will be available in real-time for call, text, and chat by July 16, 2022. Until then, those in crisis should continue to use 1-800-273-8255. After July 16, 2022, using either number will get people to the same services.
If you or someone you know needs help NOW, call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255. Spanish speakers are available.

  • Worried about your safety or someone you know.
  • Having a hard time managing strong emotions.
  • Feeling hopeless, confused or angry.
  • Worried about alcohol or drug use (substance use).
  • Need information or referrals for local community services.
  • Have something on your mind that you want to talk over with someone outside of current situation.
  • Service member or veteran and their families.

 

If you or someone you know needs help NOW, call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255. Spanish speakers are available.

When you call 988 a trained behavioral health professional will answer. Many have a background in mental health or social work, but all are trained. They are there to listen non-judgmentally and help you process your feelings, think through your problem or situation and explore your options or what comes next and help figure out what you want to do, if anything.

Call

Starting July 16, 2022, when calling 988, callers first hear a greeting message while their call is routed to the local network crisis center (based on the caller’s area code).

You will also be given three options. Press 1 to connect to the Veterans Crisis Line or Press 2 to connect with the Spanish network.

Trained behavioral health professional will answer the phone, listen to the caller, understand how their problem is affecting them, provide support, and share resources if needed. If the local crisis center is unable to take the call, the caller will be automatically routed to a national backup crisis center.

Text

Text TALK to 38255. When someone texts to 988, they will be responded to by a group of crisis centers that respond to chat and text. This service will expand over the next few years to increase local and state level response. Once connected, a behavioral health professional will listen to you, work to understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share resources that may be helpful.

Chat

What happens when I chat via 988?

Chat is available through the Lifeline’s website https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat

People seeking chat services will be provided a pre-chat survey before connecting with a counselor that identifies the main area of concern. If there is a wait to chat with a crisis counselor, a wait-time message will appear. If demand is high, individuals can access the 988 “helpful resources” while waiting or call 1-800-273-8255 (or 988 after July 16, 2022). Once connected, a behavioral health professional will listen to you, work to understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share resources that may be helpful.

988 will improve access for all New Mexicans who may be in emotional, mental health or substance use distress. 988 provides easier access to local network resources, which are different from 911.

The 988 and 911 systems will need to be closely coordinated to seamlessly allow referral of callers for appropriate care or response that addresses the unique circumstances present with each crisis encounter. HSD/BHSD is actively working with local 911 counterparts to plan for smooth coordination between the two services.

The primary goal of 988 is to provide support for people in crisis or mental health-related or substance use distress in the moments they most need it and in a manner which is person-centered. The vast majority of those seeking help from the Lifeline do not require any additional interventions at that moment. Currently, fewer than 2% of the existing Lifeline calls involving immediate risk to someone’s life require connection to emergency services like 911. The 988 coordinated response is intended to promote stabilization and care in the least restrictive manner.

Will 988 calls be referred to 911?

A small percent of calls requires the 911 system when there is immediate risk to someone’s life that cannot be reduced during the 988 call. In these cases, the crisis counselor shares information with 911 that is crucial to saving the caller’s life.