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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number changes to 988

Burrell Behavioral Health operates a certified National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center, which is now tied to the phone number 988.

Graphic 988

On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number will change from 1-800-273-TALK to simply 988. Designed to be the mental health equivalent to 911, the new lifeline aims to be easier to remember and access for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.

With fewer barriers to care, it is expected that more people will call for help. During the first year of implementation, Missouri is expected to receive approximately 253,000 calls to the 988 number. For comparison, during Fiscal Year 2021, there were 91,464 made to crisis hotlines across Missouri. Burrell received 8,891 of those.

The key goal of using the updated 988 Lifeline is to quickly connect individuals to ongoing care and support through referrals to community resources. Throughout the planning process, the Missouri Department of Mental Health's 988/911 Committee focused on how to best partner and get people connected to the right systems depending on their needs, which includes close collaboration between the 988 call centers and community partners such as 911 dispatch, EMS, law enforcement, etc. to get anyone who calls in distress the appropriate assistance if needed.

Anyone who calls 988 will be routed to the nearest Lifeline. Here’s how it will work:

  • When someone calls 988, they'll be routed to the closet 988 call center based on their phone number's area code and prefix, regardless of their physical location. For example, someone with a 417-866 number will be routed to Burrell Behavioral Health's Crisis Line in Springfield.
  • If someone who lives in Springfield - but has a different city's area code - calls 988, they'll be routed to their area code's local 988 Lifeline. They can be asked to be transferred to the Lifeline closest to where they are physically.

The bottom line is, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911. If you’re needing help with a mental health crisis, suicidal ideation, or substance use support, call 988.

Burrell's 1-800 Crisis Lines will remain open. Anyone wanting to get into contact directly with Burrell Crisis Staff can still call those number and get connected. Call our toll-free, 24-hour telephone line for help with your immediate crisis situation.

For more information about the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, consider any of the following resources:
FAQ with vibrant FINAL COPY.pdf (mhanational.org)
The Lifeline and 988 : Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline | SAMHSA


24-Hour Crisis Line

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis, please call our toll-free 24-hour telephone line. Our team can help provide immediate assistance.

Southwest Missouri: 1-800-494-7355

Central Missouri: 1-800-395-2132

National Help Line: Call or Text 988