You can now call — or text — the new mental health resource number: 988

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SALT LAKE CITY — The nation's newest mental health resource, 988, isn't just a phone call service — you can text it, too.

"It's really an exciting and historic milestone for mental health services," said Rachel Lucynski, director of community crisis support at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

Lawmakers, like Sen. Daniel Thatcher, said when making 988, they knew they wanted to include texting as an option.

"I have seen millennials text the person they were sitting next to on the couch," Thatcher said. "So, being able to reach people in the method that they prefer to communicate is going to increase the usage."

Thatcher said when looking at the SafeUT App — Utah's model mental health resource — those that chose to text for help over calling is 20 to 1. That's why it was important to include texting.

He said whatever way you decide to reach out to 988, you will still be receiving quality help.

"You are still reaching the same people," Thatcher said. "The people who are answering the phones are the same people who answer the text lines."

Both Lucynski and Thatcher said they know there will be an influx of calls and texts when 988 goes live Saturday, but they have been preparing for it.

"We have been working the last two years since this law was passed in 2020 to really make sure that we are staffed and equipped to answer these calls," Lucynski said.

With the launch of 988, other resources like 1-800-273-TALK will still be in use.

Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Crisis Hotlines

  • Huntsman Mental Health Institute Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • SafeUT Crisis Line: 833-372-3388
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

Online resources

Information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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