Department of Health launches 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Campaign website


The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has launched a new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline website that is specifically designed for people living in Washington state.

988 is the nationwide, three-digit dialing code that connects anyone experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis with a trained counselor, according to a news release.

The 988 Lifeline is free, confidential and available 24/7/365 via phone call, text or online chat.

The new website is part of the state’s larger 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Awareness Campaign and is designed to build upon and complement the existing national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline website.

“Our state’s new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline campaign website highlights Washington-specific mental health resources, including many specifically designed for priority populations,” said Michele Roberts, Assistant Secretary, Prevention and Community Health Division. “We hope this new website provides more awareness of this lifesaving free and confidential service, encourages people to use the lifeline, and supports a more compassionate and accessible mental and behavioral health care system.”

The website answers frequently asked questions about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, including how it works, who it supports, how people can use it to support a loved one in crisis, and how to contact 988. The site also hosts a toolkit for partners and organizations as well as a supplementary resources page.

Raising awareness

DOH’s new website is part of a larger initiative to increase awareness about the 988 Lifeline’s services and resources. 988 launched nationwide July 16, 2022.

Many people in Washington remain unfamiliar with what the lifeline is and how it works. In a survey DOH conducted earlier this year, just 37% of respondents said they were familiar with the 988 Lifeline. Additionally, about 80% of participants whose primary language is other than English had not heard of the 988 Lifeline.

DOH hopes to address this lack of familiarity and awareness with its 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Awareness Campaign.

The campaign seeks to provide resources to people in crisis in the state of Washington, build awareness, reduce disparities, and drive action to prevent suicide. The campaign includes additional resources on coping skills and actionable tools to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress.

“Every time we have the opportunity to talk about this service, we have the ability to save lives,” said Lonnie Peterson, 988 Crisis Systems Manager. “We want this campaign to spark conversations about the 988 Lifeline and increase awareness so anyone in crisis knows where they can turn for support.”

The 988 Lifeline Awareness Campaign aligns with House Bill 1134, which calls out the need for a 988 Lifeline awareness campaign to address the general population and specific priority audiences.

It includes paid search and social media efforts, videos for digital TV and cable channels, radio broadcasts, digital audio, and banner and print ads. Most of the campaigns and advertisements direct people to the site.

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