The new 988 then Press 1 Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) has officially launched! For Veterans and their loved ones, this means accessing the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) by dialing 988 and then pressing 1. 988 will help Veterans and their loved ones reach crisis support quickly and efficiently.
Signed into law in 2020, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act authorized 988 as the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. All telephone service providers in the United States were required to activate the number no later than July 16, 2022. The 10-digit number for the VCL remains available to use (1-800-273-8255, Press 1). Chat (VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat) and text (838255) are also available.
The 988 expansion directly addresses the need for ease of access and clarity in times of crisis. Help spread the word with 988 social media shareables from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)!
Communities across the United States are assessing their readiness and capacity to handle the anticipated influx of calls to 988. Through its Crisis Intercept Mapping (CIM) for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF) Suicide Prevention initiative, SAMHSA’s SMVF Technical Assistance (TA) Center works with communities to recognize systemic gaps and strengthen the delivery of evidence-based suicide prevention policies and practices. The mapping tool helps stakeholders visualize how at-risk service members and Veterans flow through the crisis care system.
For more information on CIM and technical assistance available for your community, visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out the Resource Center below for additional crisis response resource links from SAMHSA, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and others.