CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Health will receive a grant to help the state prepare for nationwide plans to establish “988” as the three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in July 2022.
The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Wyoming residents needing support should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until July 2022 or text “WYO” to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.
The WDH will receive “988 State Planning Grant” awarded through Vibrant Emotional Health, which is the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
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WDH Injury and Violence Prevention Program Manager Lindsay Martin said the department will work on strategic plans to meet the infrastructure needs and projected volume growth and access of the new 988 number.
WDH, Central Wyoming Counseling Center’s Lifeline Call Center, and the Wyoming Lifeline Call Center will collaborate with state leadership, suicide prevention experts, people with lived experience and others on the planning effort.
“We always tell people to call 911 if they are someone they know is in immediate danger of harming themselves,” Martin said in Wednesday’s press release. “Having a ready resource for people in crisis is vital.”
“We know having someone to talk to about thoughts, feelings and options for support can help save lives and that’s where the lifeline fits in.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support and crisis counseling to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States.