988 Suicide Crisis Lifeline is Now Available for All VP Users
Earlier this month, The Department of Health and Human Services announced that the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline was adding support in ASL. As of Friday, September 29, 2023, we are proud to share that this service is available across all VP providers. Anyone who prefers to communicate using ASL can simply dial 988 directly from their videophone to access these crucial mental health services.
This is a significant step toward a more accessible and inclusive world for deaf and hard of hearing communities.
Introduced in 2005, the 988 Lifeline was established to offer immediate assistance to individuals grappling with suicidal thoughts, mental health issues, or substance abuse crises. Over the years, it has expanded into a network comprising over 200 state and local call centers, all backed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) support.
How To Access 988
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, a mental health crisis, or a substance abuse crisis, you can access the 988 hotline in several ways.
- VideoPhone: Dial 988 on your VP
- Desktop or Laptop: Visit 988’s webpage for Deaf and Hard of Hearing users and scroll down to find the ASL Now button.
- Chat or Text: Visit 988’s webpage for chat and text and follow the instructions to start a conversation with your preferred chat method.
- Through TTY: Using your preferred service provider, dial 711 and then dial 988.
Progress Towards a More Accessible World
Making the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals was made possible through years of advocacy and collaboration across many companies and organizations. We are proud to have been involved in this effort by providing the platform that facilitates Direct Video Calling (DVC). Others involved include Vibrant, the Federal Communications Commission, DeafLEAD, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Convo, Sorenson, Z/P, National Association for the Deaf, and iConectiv.
To learn more about this new service you can review these news stories and resources: