By Cherylyn Rahr-Wood, Nevada Rural Hospital Partners
On July 16, 2022, the world changed for the better, but most people do not know why. On this day, the three-digit 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Crisis Lifeline launched. This three-digit number has replaced the original 11-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number; however, you can still dial the 11-digit phone number: 1-800-273-TALK and it will direct you to the 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Crisis Lifeline. You can now also text to 9-8-8 for help during a crisis.
Why do we need 9-8-8 in Nevada? First, it is now our Suicide Prevention Crisis Lifeline. Second, when you are in crisis and must think about trying to access this service, a three-digit phone number is much easier to recall than a traditional eleven-digit phone number. Lastly, current data shows Nevada as the 12th highest in the nation for suicides. With more than 690 Nevadans dying by suicide in 2021, coupled with our youth taking their lives at unbelievable rates, the country spoke up and a change was made to create 9-8-8.
Other than 9-8-8 being much easier to remember, anyone who is having thoughts of suicide or having a crisis can call and get live, real-time help. This number is a direct line to qualified people who listen and then support the caller by addressing their immediate needs, patiently working to connect them to local resources, programs, and even ongoing care.
If your loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns and you are not certain what to do or say, call 9-8-8 for guidance. Calling 9-8-8 gives you helpful answers and resources to help your loved one through their crisis if they are not able to call themselves.
Since its roll out, the call volume of the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline has increased. With innovative thinking from the state of Nevada, partners, and a bill passing in the 2023 legislative session, ample funding was created to help sustain and support Nevada’s 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline. If you or a loved one needs guidance during a crisis, please dial 9-8-8.
Get Healthy Carson City: 3-digit Suicide Prevention Crisis Lifeline | Serving Carson City for over 150 years (nevadaappeal.com)