Designating 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. The rules require all phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. During the transition to 988, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats. Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/, or texting 838255.
Suicide Prevention Competencies for Faith Leaders
Research indicates people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide are increasingly turning to faith leaders for help and support, even before they will seek care from mental health professionals. Faith leaders play a key role in suicide prevention and postvention care. To better equip leaders of all faiths with life-saving skills to prevent suicide, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) and its Faith Communities Task Force, recently released the resource Suicide Prevention Competencies for Faith Leaders: Supporting Life Before, During, and After a Suicidal Crisis.
This new resource aims to provide faith leaders with feasible, practical, research-based actions they can adopt immediately to help save lives and restore hope in faith communities nationwide. The competencies, informed by leaders from diverse faith communities and experts in the suicide prevention field, help to integrate and coordinate suicide prevention across sectors and settings, like faith-based organizations and places of worship, a goal of the Action Alliance’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: Faith Communities Task Force. (2019). Suicide prevention competencies for faith leaders: Supporting life before, during, and after a suicidal crisis. Washington, DC: Education Development Center