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988 Hotline Adds Sign Language 


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday that it would add American Sign Language (ASL) services to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) was launched last year to offer 24/7 access to speak with crisis counselors by call or text who can help people experiencing suicidal thoughts mental health crisis, or any form of emotional distress. According to the CDC, as of 2021, one death every 11 minutes was due to suicide, which makes it among the top nine leading causes of death in the U.S. for ages 10-64 years. 988 will be available from a videophone—a telephone with a video screen used by deaf and hard of hearing people— in the coming weeks. The crisis line services have expanded to include Spanish language and services for LGBTQ youth and young adults.  

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