NAMI Mississippi celebrates availability of 988, a three-digit crisis hotline

Published 5:30 pm Monday, July 18, 2022

After more than two years of advocacy and planning, NAMI Mississippi joins mental health advocates across Mississippi and the entire country to celebrate the nationwide availability of 988 – the new three-digit number for people to call or text during a mental health, substance use or suicide crisis – starting today, Saturday, July 16.

“The availability of 988 today is a tremendous step toward providing life-saving support that will help countless people experiencing a mental health, substance use or suicide crisis, and their families,” said Sitaniel Wimbley, Executive Director of NAMI Mississippi. “But the work is only beginning. 988 provides us an opportunity to reimagine how our state responds to people in crisis. Mississippi must act now to continue to invest in 988 and a crisis response system and ensure everyone experiencing a mental health crisis receives the mental health response they deserve.”

With 988 now available nationwide, anyone can call or text 988 (or use online chat services at 988lifeline.org) and be connected to trained crisis counselors that are part of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline network. These crisis counselors are trained to help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or emotional distress, and they are able to resolve more than 90 percent of calls over the phone.

NAMI has more information available here about what is and is not changing with today’s nationwide availability of 988.

While the new number is now live, efforts to build the system’s capacity in Mississippi to help everyone in crisis will continue in the weeks, months and years to come.

While everyone will now have access to the Lifeline via 988, this does not mean that mobile crisis teams and crisis stabilization options that provide effective care to people in crisis are available for everyone who contacts 988. Right now, what is available differs community by community.

Read NAMI FAQs for Nationwide Availability of 988

North Mississippi’s NAMI branch is located in Oxford. The NAMI Oxford Affiliate covers Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Tate, Yalobusha, Benton, Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc and Union counties. For more information or questions, contact NAMI Oxford at oxford@namims.org.