As of July 2022, 988 became the national three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL). Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, a mental health crisis, or any other type of emotional distress can call, text, or chat with a trained behavioral health professional. Individuals who are concerned about a loved one or friend can also call the lifeline. Beginning July 2022, callers dialing 988 are routed to the Lifeline across the United States.

The creation of a national three-digit phone number is anticipated to increase access to vital crisis services and help to save lives. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services is working to transform crisis care into a system that offers a continuum of services, from the initial call to 988, to a mobile response by a team of trained behavioral health professionals, to crisis residential units aimed at stabilizing individuals with crisis follow-up care. The MS Department of Mental Health reports that as of 2021, Mississippi can provide primary coverage 24/7 for all 82 counties. The call volume for July 2021-2022 was 18,388. People can also call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

Each Community Mental Health Center region in Mississippi also offers crisis mobile response services, which employ face-to-face professional and peer intervention, deployed in real time, to the location of the person in crisis. The behavioral health teams respond to individuals, family members, or community organization and provide assessment, stabilization, and referral services to individuals in crisis. Their goal is to prevent hospitalization and provide individuals the appropriate care in the least restrictive setting. During FY22, teams responded to 30,571 calls, contacts, and follow-ups, of which 11,657 were face-to-face. A short video as well as the phone numbers for each region can be found on the MS Department of Mental Health website, located here.

Crisis Residential Services are also available statewide. A total of 177 beds are available across 14 units and provide time-limited residential treatment to persons experiencing a period of acute psychiatric distress. Services are designed to prevent civil commitment or longer-term psychiatric hospitalization. Crisis Residential Units (CRUs) are designed to accept admissions (voluntary and involuntary) twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week. More information, including location and contact numbers are available here.