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Grant secured to help with new Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 988, will be in effect in July of 2022.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 988, will be in effect in July of 2022.(KSFY)
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 9:17 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Department of Social Services in South Dakota received a grant through Vibrant Emotional Health. It will be used to help prepare for the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 988. In a news release sent out Wednesday morning, DSS said the money will be used to develop strategic plans in preparation for the infrastructure needs and volume growth.

988 will become the new phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in July of 2022. The current number, 1-800-273-8255, will be used until then.

DSS will work with the Helpline Center and other stakeholders to launch the new number. State leadership, suicide prevention experts, and others will come together to create a plan to implement the new code.

“The Helpline Center is pleased to partner with the South Dakota Department of Social Services in the 988 Planning Grant,” said Janet Kittams, Director of the Helpline Center. “Collaborative planning to implement the new 988 phone number will be critical to ensuring that all residents have an easy access point for behavioral health crisis situations beginning in July of 2022. The Helpline Center serves as the only Lifeline crisis center answering the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for the entire state of South Dakota.”

The lifeline provides emotional support for people in distress, aiming to reduce suicides and mental health crises.

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