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New National 988 Suicide Prevention Line

Starting Saturday, anyone in the United States who is having a mental health crisis will have a new easy-to-remember, three-digit tool to get 24/7 help: Dialing 9-8-8. 

The number is meant to replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK), though 800-273-TALK will remain active. 

The new 988 line is not solely for suicide prevention. Federal officials say it's for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress, whether that is thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. 

People also may dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.  

Here are five key things to know about 988 in Arizona: 

Arizonans who dial 988 likely will get help from Arizona crisis specialists. 

The 988 system does not use geolocation services, for that reason, 988 counselors may ask callers for their location in an emergency situation or to provide local referrals. 

Texting 988 will work

The same is true for the chat option: https://988lifeline.org/chat/   

Individuals have the option to text 988 and then hit 1, which will transfer to a crisis line for veterans. 

Federal officials see 988 as an opportunity to expand mental health crisis services across the country. 

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