988 suicide and crisis hotline reaches over 2 million people

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 7:24 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - More than two million calls, texts, and chat messages have flowed into the 988 suicide and crisis hotline which was launched in July of 2022.

Taking the place of the previous 1-800 national suicide prevention number, 988 is an easier number to remember when calling for help.

In 2021, there were 202 suicides in South Dakota, up from 185 during the previous year.

The increase shows that people are reaching out for help. The state hotline saw 593 calls last November, which is double the calls from the same period in 2021.

”So that’s really promising to us to see those numbers and see that number be recognized and really folks interacting and using this resource in South Dakota when they’re experiencing a behavioral health crisis,” said Tiffany Wolfgang, director of behavioral health for the South Dakota Department of Social Services.

The 988 lifeline number is open 24/7 to anyone who is experiencing thoughts of suicide or other emotional distress.