On July 15, 2022, Governor JB Pritzker announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services’ (IDHS) Division of Mental Health, in coordination with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is expanding Illinois' mental health safety net by rolling out 988, a new, nationwide suicide prevention and mental health crisis line. The code will be available nationally beginning July 16, 2022.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which has existed since 2005, is now available nationwide via a three-digit dialing code – 988 – making it easier for those in crisis to get the help they need. Converting to this easy-to-remember number offers the public increased access to potentially lifesaving, trained crisis counselors. State and federal funding have made it possible to increase staffing at Illinois’ six existing 988 call centers to ensure that calls are answered in-state.