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Here’s the new number to text for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Sad person texting
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A new texting-based National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be available everywhere by July 2022, making it easier to seek help for those uncomfortable speaking to someone on the phone.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously that cell phone companies must allow users to text the number “988” if they are in crisis by July 2022, Reuters reports, though some carriers are implementing the number earlier. Those who would rather speak to someone on the phone will still be able to reach the current national lifeline at 800-273-8255. There is also an online chat option already in place.

Related: Am I nonbinary? A guide to what it means to identify outside the gender binary

The texting option comes as suicide numbers remain high across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-34.

A 2016 research review by the Williams Institute revealed that 17% of LGB adults have attempted suicide, compared to 2.4% of the general population. Additionally, 82% of respondents to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey said they had seriously thought about suicide at some point in their lives, and 40% reported having attempted it.

The numbers are also alarmingly high for LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Youth Mental Health Survey found that 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year. Additionally, more than half of trans and non-binary youth considered suicide

94% of respondents also stated that if they needed to contact a crisis line, they would want to be able to text. However, more than 80% said that it’s important to them that they can access a crisis line focused on LGBTQ youth.

That said, if the National line doesn’t feel like the right choice for you, there are many LGBTQ-specific options.

The Trevor Project is available 24/7 by text, phone call, and online chat. Counselors can be reached by texting START to 678678 and by phone at 1-866-488-7386.

The Trevor Project specializes in working with LGBTQ youth under age 25. Adults looking for LGBTQ-specific help can call the LGBT National Hotline, run by the LGBT National Help Center, at 888-843-4564. The Help Center also has a youth talk line that can be reached at 800-246-7743.

Those who would like to speak to someone focused specifically on the trans community can call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860. The Trans Lifeline is run by trans people for trans people in crisis.

Remember that you are not alone. Help is there for you.

Trevor Project 

1-866-488-7386

or text START to 678678

or use the online chat function 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

800-273-8255

or use the online chat function

or starting in July, text 988

Trans Lifeline 

877-565-8860

LGBT National Hotline

888-843-4564

LGBT National Youth Talkline

800-246-7743

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