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State health officials: Michigan's 988 Lifeline number is among the most-used in the nation

A man speaking on the phone.
Drobot Dean
Adobe Stock
A man speaking on the phone.

Michigan officials say the latest data show the state's 988 Lifeline number appears to be making a difference for people facing mental health crises.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, launched in July 2022.

It's a 24/7 phone number that people experiencing behavioral health distress can call for help. Trained staff aim to de-escalate the distress, such as thoughts of suicide, and provide connection to other resources.

Officials say Michigan's 988 Lifeline is one of the busiest in the nation, and the state had the quickest average speed of answer— 17 seconds —-among the seven highest-volume 988 call lines in the nation. In March 2024, Michigan received the seventh highest volume of 988 calls in the country with 8,845 calls.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said nearly half those who call in report overwhelming and high levels of distress, and by the end of the call, that number has dropped to 16%.

Nationally, chat and text response is also available, but Michigan plans to take over chat and text response by next year, in part to better serve younger callers, as mental health issues among youth become a growing concern in the U.S.

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