The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health (IDHS/DMH) was awarded a grant from Vibrant, operator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) to plan for the implementation of 988, a national three-digit dialing code for the Lifeline and for calls from individuals experiencing mental health crises. IDHS/DMH partnered with the six existing Lifeline call centers in Illinois, as well as key stakeholders in the state to ensure a smooth transition to the 988 system when it rolled out in July 2022.
The Illinois Key Stakeholder Coalition served as an advisory group for the IDHS 988 Planning Grant Team. The expectation was to develop a clear roadmap for Illinois to address key coordination, capacity, funding, and communication strategies for the launching of 988. The team was also expected to plan for the long-term improvement of in-state answer rates for 988 calls originating in Illinois.
Once operational, 988 became a direct line to trained call takers available to anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts, anywhere in the US, at any time to help find the support and help they need. It serves as a core component of crisis care in the country, consistent with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's SAMHSA Crisis Services: Meeting Needs, Saving Lives initiative https://store.samhsa.gov/product/crisis-services-meeting-needs-saving-lives/PEP20-08-01-001
To sign up for Communications from the Division of Mental Health regarding 988 and/or the Community Emergency Services and Support Act (CESSA) please complete the request form at: https://forms.office.com/g/Da9MEQE8Hb
To submit a question(s) related to 988/CESSA to the Division of Mental Health please fill out this request form: https://forms.office.com/g/K82GhbRgKJ