New 988 crisis line launches Saturday
A new mental health crisis hotline is kicking off this weekend here in South Dakota. The 988 line launches on Saturday and will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Congress designated the 988 dialing code back in 2020. In South Dakota, those calls will be answered by the Helpline. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of the death in the state. If you need help, you can connect with counselors at 988 through talk, chat or text.
South Dakota Department of Social Services Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill says, “So what it is is if people have thoughts of suicide or mental health of substance use crisis, they can call these easy to remember number, 988. This will connect them immediately to trained crisis professionals who can help them in their current situation. If they need to be connected to more resources, they will do that. But the thought is that when you’re in crisis, you need a place to call, 988, is that easy to remember number.”
Gill says if you’re not sure if you should call, call anyway. They can divert you to other help if that’s more appropriate.