24/7 free and confidential

New Mexico’s 988 is the confidential lifeline for emotional, mental, or alcohol and drug misuse support

anyone. any struggle. anytime.


What is 988?

988 is for anyone, any time and for any emotional or alcohol or drug use reason. It is a free, confidential and easy to remember support helpline for emotional, mental, or drug and alcohol (substance misuse) concerns. People can also call, text or chat 988 if they are worried about a loved one.

988 calls, texts and chats are answered by compassionate people who are trained in appropriate and relatable distress response services to give you the private support you need with empathy and discretion. They will listen, offer non-judgmental support no matter your issue and work with you to offer help, if you want it. 

988 can open the door for all New Mexicans to seek mental well-being or alcohol or drug (substance use) help, while sending the message that healing, hope, and help are happening every day, for anyone and anytime.

988 is an important first, but not final step, in reimagining New Mexico’s behavioral health system to respond to anyone in need. HSD/BHSD believes New Mexicans deserve to have mental health within reach. It’s part of a larger initiative to build out a behavioral health system for people in distress to have “someone to call, someone to come to you and somewhere to go. Building the Crisis Now Continuum of Care is about meeting people where they’re at when they need it most. This transformation will take time and requires resources from federal, state, and local levels to prepare the mental wellness system to better meet these needs.

When should I call 988?

 Anytime, from anywhere, day or night.

  • Worried about your safety or someone you know.
  • Having a hard time managing strong emotions.
  • Feeling hopeless, confused, angry or lonely.
  • 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.

Is 988 available now?

988 is available now in real-time for call, text, and chat always. Spanish speakers are available and there are dedicated support lines for Veterans and their families, the LGBTQIA+ community and those who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/hard of seeing.

Is 988 available for alcohol and drug problems (substance use)?

Yes. 988 accepts calls, texts, and chats from anyone who needs support for alcohol or drug misuse.

Is 988 for everyone?

988 is for everyone, regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you are going through. Through 988, you have access to free, quality one-on-one support, 24/7 – no matter what your situation is, or if you have health insurance, or if you have access to medical professionals near you, Skilled and caring professionals are here for you now. You are not alone, and you deserve to feel heard and cared about – anytime and from anywhere.

What happens when I call, text, or chat 988?


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

Press 2 to connect with the Spanish network

Press 3 to connect with specialized LGBTQIA+ support

Text “Talk” to 988 if you don’t feel like talking on the phone, texting 988 connects you to the support you need.

To Chat with 988 for a skilled professional by typing in https://988lifeline.org/chat/ and you will be asked to answer a few pre-chat questions to identify the main area of concern. There may be a wait time. Chat is available in both English and Spanish through the 988 Lifeline’s website at 988lifeline.org/chat.

Callers who are Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened can directly dial 988 on a videophone or click the “ASL Now” button on 988lifeline.org
Or, if you stay on the line, you will reach someone who is a skilled and caring professional who will listen to you and provide help if wanted. Your private conversation is confidential, you’ll feel heard and cared about and you’ll get connected with local mental health support.

Does calling/texting/chatting the 988 Lifeline really help?

Yes, the Lifeline works. Numerous studies have shown that most Lifeline callers are significantly more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to a Lifeline crisis counselor.

Almost 98% of people who call, chat or text the 988 Lifeline get the caring support they need and do not require additional services in that moment. The 988 Lifeline’s compassionate and skilled professionals are there to help reduce the intensity of a situation for the person seeking help, and connect them to additional local resources, as needed, to support their wellbeing.

What languages is 988 services available in?

The 988 provides live call, text, and chat services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide caller translation services in more than 240 additional languages.

988 has launched text and chat services in Spanish. To access, text AYUDA to 988 or chat online.

¡Los servicios de texto y chat de 988 Lifeline ya están disponibles en español!

Haga clic aquí para obtener información sobre cómo acceder a todos los servicios en español.


The 988 offers Spanish call, text, and chat services. To connect with a Spanish-speaking behavioral health professional, dial 988 and press 2.

Does 988 have interpretation services?

988 offers an interpretation service in over 240 languages and dialects through the call option to 988, increasing accessibility to many people wishing to use 988. Interpreting services are available 24/7 and the average time to be connected to an interpreter is only 17 seconds. This service allows callers to comfortably connect with crisis counselors in their preferred language outside of English. Interpretation is only available through calling 988, it is not yet available for our text and chat service.

To connect with an interpreter, callers can dial 988 and ask for one in English if they are able, or they can simply say the name of the language they need to prompt the crisis counselor to get an interpreter on the line. Our interpreting service can also assist crisis counselors in identifying the needed language if the crisis counselor is unsure. Individuals requiring interpreting services may also have someone else who is more proficient in English coordinate an interpreter with their crisis counselor on their behalf. 

Interpreters receive special training to provide effective interpretation over the telephone and follow a code of ethics that includes requirements related to confidentiality, accuracy, and impartiality.

Are 988 services available to Immigrants or Migrants?

Yes. Immigration status information is not collected or reported.

Does 988 accommodate those who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or blind?

Callers who are Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened can directly dial 988 on a videophone or click the “ASL Now” button on 988lifeline.org to connect with someone who are trained in working with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

Are there specialized services for LGBTQI+ youth who reach out to 988?

Yes. Specialized call, text, and chat supports are offered for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQI+) youth and young adults. The program aims to support people under the age of 25 who reach out to the 988 Lifeline and want the option of connecting with a counselor specifically focused on meeting the needs of LGBTQI+ youth and young adults. The specialized services are currently available by call, text, and chat.

Who answers my call?

988 calls, texts and chats are answered by compassionate people who have been especially trained to deal with situations just like yours – which makes them especially capable of providing tailored and component mental health support.  With 988, you can truly feel like you are talking to someone who understand what you’re going through and can be a confidant whenever you need it most with empathy and discretion. They will listen, offer non-judgmental support no matter your issue and work with you to offer help, if you want it. 

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. Currently, calls to 988 from New Mexico area codes are automatically routed to the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line.

Is 988 really a free service?

People using the 988 Lifeline are not required to provide any payment or insurance information to receive support. However, standard data rates from telecommunication mobile carriers may apply to those who text to the 988 Lifeline. If monetary assistance is needed for communications needs due to data rates, please see www.fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers for more information.


How is 988 different from 911 or law enforcement?

988 connects you with a caring and skilled professional who have one goal: helping you. They are skilled, compassionate and are focused on you and your best interests, providing a listening ear, an open heart, and real mental health support when you need it most.  And your conversations are private and confidential: Just you and them, working together to overcome whatever life has thrown at you.

988 is separate from law enforcement, and they understand the importance of privacy. It’s private, one-on-one opportunities to talk with a skilled professional.

988 provides easier access to mental health support, which are distinct from 911 and their focus on dispatching Emergency Medical Services, fire, and police as needed.

If I am an Immigrant will ICE or other law enforcement be notified?

No. Personal data is not collected or reported, including immigration status. 988 is only here to help you, regardless of legal status.

How is 988 different from 911?

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. 988 changes the perception of what do in a mental health crisis. It is as important as having a physical emergency. It is an alternative to law enforcement as the primary intervention for mental health. 988 is distinct from the public safety purposes of 911 (where the focus is on dispatching Emergency Medical Services, fire and police as needed).

How do 988 and 911 work together?

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.

How can I report an unsatisfactory experience with 988?

If you or someone you know has had an unsatisfactory experience when contacting 988, the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) would like to know. 

  • Please do NOT share any identifying or confidential personal information about yourself or others. Only share information concerning the issue, date, time, and if it was a call, text, or chat experience. 
  • You can also contact them and share positive experiences. 
  • Email concerns to HSD Contact988@hsd.nm.gov 


If I call 988 will first responders (like the police or EMS) be automatically dispatched?

The primary goal of 988 is to provide support for any emotional or alcohol or drug use reason. It is a free, confidential and easy to remember support helpline for emotional, mental, or drug and alcohol (substance misuse) concerns.

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 skilled professional shares information with 911 that is crucial to saving the caller’s life.

Does 988 trace the location of people who call, text or chat?

When you reach out to the 988, the compassionate trained professional who responds to you will know your phone number if you call/text or your IP address if you use chat. Beyond that, they will not know who you are or where you are located. You are not required to provide any personal information to receive support from the 988.

If a 988 skilled professional tries to gather information during a call, text, or chat, it will be to: 1) save lives; 2) connect people to ongoing support; and 3) evaluate 988 services.

In rare situations when a 988 skilled professional must connect with a 911 dispatcher because of concerns about an immediate risk to life, 911 may be asked to initiate a precise geolocation lookup with the Internet Service Provider or wireless carrier. This is needed because 988 does not have access to your precise location when you reach out.

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