Sometimes being a hero means doing something extraordinary for yourself—or for someone else. It is estimated that in a fire department, suicide is three times more likely to happen than a line-of-duty death—and it can almost always be prevented.
Keeping firefighters safe is part of NFFF’s core mission. That’s why we urge all members of the fire service to be familiar with 988: our nation’s new three-digit dialing code to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
In 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s (1-800-273-8255) network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country. As of July 16, 2022, 988 is live on all devices across the United States.
988 is more than just an easy-to-remember number—it’s a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress – whether that is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. You can also dial 988 if you are worried about a colleague or loved one who may need crisis support.
According to the U.S. Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the 988 dialing code is a first step toward strengthening and transforming crisis care in our country. It serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live or work in the U.S., you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.
So please: do not wait.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is funded by the U.S. Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Lifeline is a national network equipped to help people in mental health related distress or experiencing a suicidal crisis via call, chat, or text. The Lifeline provides free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the U.S.