988 'Lifeline' will soon assist in suicide prevention counseling

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - In Alaska and across the nation, callers can soon dial 988 to connect to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network of call center professionals.

    The implementation of this dialing code becomes operational across Alaska and nationwide on July 16, and is the result of a 2020 congressional decision designating 988 as the dialing code to operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

    Callers in Alaska who dial 988 from a 907 area code will be connected to Careline Alaska where a trained crisis counselor will provide confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone of any age, including non-English speakers and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    Counselors are trained to respond to crises, provide emotional support and connect callers with local resources.

    Efforts to implement 988 in Alaska began in April 2021, with the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health leading a collaborative statewide planning process.

    To learn more about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in Alaska, visit 988.alaska.gov.

    If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, or experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, call the Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or the Alaska Careline at 877-266-HELP, and starting July 16, you can also dial 988.

     

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