On July 16 Nebraska is launching 988 as an emergency lifeline for those experiencing behavioral health or mental health emergencies. Partners in this effort include Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Boys Town Nebraska, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, Nebraska Public Service Commission, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This week, the Governor of Nebraska introduced 988 with an official press release to highlight how the lifeline will work. Calls to the previous Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and calls to 988 will both be answered by trained, compassionate counselors at Boys Town National Hotline and are available for anyone experiencing mental distress or thoughts of suicide.
The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center is part of several efforts to prevent suicide in Nebraska, including adopting 988 as an emergency line for those experiencing behavioral health or mental health emergencies. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) received the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 State Planning Grant through Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The grant has helped DHHS and other partners develop a strategic plan to address projected infrastructure needs, volume growth, and access to the Lifeline’s new 988 number in Nebraska. The Public Policy Center served a vital role in planning for Nebraska’s transition from the National Suicide Hotline to the 988 system. For more information about 988, visit 988lifeline.org or dhhs.ne.gov.