Mental Health Hotline 988 Reopens After National Service Shutdown

The national 988 hotline, designed to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency, reopened on Friday after a one-day outage.

The telephone service launched in July was restored shortly before midnight on Thursday. People going through a mental health crisis were still able to contact a mental health consultant by texting 988 or by visiting to start a chat.

The federal government is investigating the shutdown of the hotline, Health and Human Services spokeswoman Sarah Lowenheim said on Twitter late Thursday night.

“While HHS and VA responded immediately to support 988 callers via text, chat and alternate numbers, the phone outage was unacceptable and HHS continues to investigate the root cause of the outage,” she tweeted, citing the acronym for Case veterans.

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Intrado, a telecommunications company based in Omaha, Nebraska, provides emergency response services. He did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

In a statement on Intrado’s website on Thursday, the company said it was “working as quickly as possible to resume full service.” The outage also affected the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s disaster helpline.

Hotline 988 is a national helpline staffed by mental health counselors throughout the country. It is as easy to remember as the 911 emergency line. Since its launch, the hotline has received about 8,000 phone calls a day from those seeking mental health care. .

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