Suicide Prevention Lifeline is Now 9-8-8
ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline recently changed its telephone number to 9-8-8.
The 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local organizations that provide free and confidential emotional support.
Allwell Behavioral Health Services Chief Clinical Officer Melissa Johnson explained that the services will not be affected and how the change marks an improvement.
“So the purpose of that is to make that a shorter number to get quicker access to trained crisis counselors, to get linked to emotional support, perhaps resources or immediate assistance if needed,” Johnson said.
Local calls to 9-8-8 will be routed to Pathways of Central Ohio, who are trained professionals that also process 2-1-1 calls.
“They will get a live person. The crisis counselors answer the phone, live, completely. And then they have a large database of assistance depending on where the person lives that they can access whatever services. Not only Allwell but any other services that are here in the county they are located,” Johnson said.
Johnson noted that 9-8-8 is for people who are contemplating suicide and that 9-1-1 should only be used when a suicide is in progress.