WEST CHESTER, PA — Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) issued the following statement on the launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline:
“Most of us, at one point or another, struggle with mental health and wellness while support systems, especially in the last few years, have been stretched,” said Houlahan. “This hotline is a critical new resource and I am grateful to everyone who had a hand in its launch. It’s a good reminder that Congress can still come together bipartisanly to do important work for the country.”
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline was created by H.R. 4194, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2019 after it was signed into law in 2020. Houlahan was an early advocate for this bill, cosponsoring it and helping it pass.
Although there are multiple state and national hotlines for people in need of help, they are ten-digit phone numbers that can be hard to remember in a crisis. The hope is that by creating a system similar to 911, more people both will receive the care they need at precisely the moment they need it and receive that care from trained mental health professionals.
Additionally, Pennsylvania’s own ten-digit phone number (800-273-8255) will remain available. Users of the service can call or text at no cost, and also will have the option of connecting with a Spanish-speaking professional or being connected directly with the Veterans Crisis Line.
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