Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions

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Frequently-Asked Questions

Calling the 988 Lifeline connects you with someone who will listen to you. The following are common questions we get asked about the program and what to expect when you call.

What is mental health?

Mental health refers to your overall sense of emotional and psychological well-being, and describes how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors influence your abilities to handle stress, form relationships with others, and make decisions.

What causes mental health issues?

Many factors can affect your sense of well-being, including stressful situations, emotional loss and grief, inherited genetic traits, or even an imbalance in your brain chemistry. Many mental health issues develop over time and may go undetected until a crisis situation occurs.

What do I do if I am suffering from a mental health issue?

Try talking to a loved one such as a friend or family member, or seek out professional help to discuss your thoughts and emotions. If you’re feeling desperate, lost, or have no one else to turn to, you can always call 988 to connect immediately with someone who will listen to you without judgment and help you sort things out.

What is 988?

The 988 Lifeline is the starting point of a crisis care response that begins with you contacting 988 by phone, text, or chat. We’re here to assist you in an emergency situation, and then—once you’re safe and stable—we can quickly refer you to responders or other local resources who can help you deal with your situation.

Do I have to be suicidal to call 988?

Not at all. The trained team members of the 988 Lifeline are standing by to take calls from anyone who needs to talk through an emotional crisis or discuss concerns about their mental health condition.


Visit our Resources page to discover other local mental health resources that may be able to help you or your loved one.