Nationwide outage affecting 988 suicide and crisis hotline
(NEXSTAR) – The national mental health crisis hotline, 988, is experiencing an hourslong, systemwide outage Thursday.
The issue started roughly around 10 a.m., according to the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, and is impacting all calls.
“The 988 lifeline is currently experiencing a service outage, we are actively working to address the outage, we also understand you may be in crisis and need services immediately,” a recorded message states.
Veterans are encouraged to call (877) 267-6030 or call any Veteran’s Affairs facility and press 7.
“If you’re in crisis and you need support, text 988 or chat with us online at 988lifeline.org/chat,” the organization wrote on its website.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversaw the launch of the three-digit lifeline earlier this year, is in communication with the contractor that supports the line, HHS spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim said in a tweet Thursday.
“We’ve taken immediate action to ensure alternative 988 channels are available to the public,” Lovenheim tweeted. The outage had been ongoing for several hours Thursday, she said.
The 3-digit telephone number connects callers with a national network of local crisis centers and provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to anyone experiencing a suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Intrado, the telecommunications provider for the service, could not immediately be reached for comment. In a statement on its website, the company said it is “experiencing an incident that is impacting production across numerous systems” and is “working diligently to restore service.”
This is a developing story; the Associated Press contributed to this report.