988 - Suicide and Crisis Lifeline


There is hope. Providing 24/7, free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress works. The Lifeline helps thousands of people overcome crisis situations every day.

Who should use 988?

The 988-crisis line will respond 24/7 to calls, chats (via suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat) or texts from anyone who needs support for suicidal, mental health, and/or substance use crisis, and connects those in need with trained crisis counselors.

The 988-crisis line will connect people to more than just a “suicide” line, it will be a service for anyone who is suicidal or experiencing a mental health- and/or substance use-related crisis. It’s important we don’t call this only a “suicide” lifeline, but instead refer to it as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

How does 988 work?

Currently, when a North Dakota resident calls the National Suicide Lifeline, a trained member of the state’s Lifeline crisis center, FirstLink, answers. A FirstLink team member will listen to the caller, provide support, and share resources if needed. If additional support is needed, FirstLink connects the caller to their local Human Service Center’s mobile crisis team. The Human Service Centers are in Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, and Williston. When 988 goes live in July 2022, this process will remain the same.


How does 988 fit with other resources?

  988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 211 911
Who contacts Individuals experiencing suicidal, mental health and/or substance use crisis Individuals looking for help meeting basic needs like housing, food, transportation and healthcare Individuals experiencing an emergency
Who answers Crisis Support Specialists (trained in crisis intervention) Resource Specialists (trained in local community resources) Emergency Dispatchers (trained to assist callers through emergencies)
What is offered Emotional support to de-escalate situation and may refer/dispatch to mobile behavioral health crisis support Information and referrals Obtain information in order to dispatch the right responders to the right location, may provide instruction until responders arrive

Additional Information

For more information on the national roll-out of 988, visit these websites:

Vibrant 988