The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is now live and available in Maine. And there is tremendous need, given:
- In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes.
- In Maine, 270 lives were lost to suicide and 52,000 adults had thoughts of suicide in the last year.
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6–17 experience a mental health disorder each year. 14,000 Mainers age 12–17 have depression.
Behind each of these data points, there are people, families and communities who have been impacted. Yet, in the face of these urgent realities, there is hope.
Maine is joining other states to launch the 988 system as of July 16, 2022, representing a significant step toward strengthening our state mental health crisis response systems. 988 responds 24/7 and will be the new three-digit number for call (multiple languages), text, or chat (English only) that connects people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health–related distress. The chat feature will be available through the Lifeline’s website: 988lifeline.org/chat. People can use 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
The Lifeline works! Since the Lifeline began in 2005, it has served as an invaluable resource, helping thousands of people overcome suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress every day. With the transition to 988, these life-saving services will be even easier to reach.
As always, Spurwink’s Link team is available to help. Anyone wishing to make a referral or to learn more about Spurwink’s service array, eligibility requirements, or general program information is welcome to contact The Spurwink Link. The Link team can be reached Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm. To reach a Link Coordinator please call us at (207) 871-1200, email us at Spurwink.firstname.lastname@example.org, or make a referral directly through the Spurwink website.