The 988 mental health hotline is available again after a nationwide outage

The 988 hotline is a national hotline staffed by mental health advisors across the country and is designed to be as easy to remember as the 911 number.

WASHINGTON — The country’s new 988 hotline, designed to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency, was back up and running Friday after a days outage.

the call service, which started in JulyIt was restored just before midnight on Thursday. People experiencing a mental health crisis could still reach a mental health counselor by texting 988 or stopping by 988lifeline.org to start a chat.

The federal government is investigating the failure of the hotline, said health and social services spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim in a tweet late Thursday night.

“While HHS and VA acted immediately to support 988 callers via text, chat and alternate numbers, the disruption in phone service was unacceptable and HHS continues to investigate the root cause of the outage,” she tweeted, referring to the acronym for Veterans Affairs.

Telecommunications company Intrado, based in Omaha, Nebraska, provides the emergency service. There were no repeated requests for comment.

In a statement on Intrado’s website on Thursday, the company said it was “working to resume full service as soon as possible.” The outage also impacted the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline.

The 988 Hotline is a national hotline with mental health advisors across the country, designed to be as easy to remember as the 911 number. Since its inception, the hotline has received approximately 8,000 calls daily from people seeking help search for mental illness.

The outage also affected the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s Disaster Relief Hotline.

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/988-mental-health-hotline-outage/507-93005168-b491-4c35-ab18-93daa619e427 The 988 mental health hotline is available again after a nationwide outage

Laura Coffey

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