Briefing on State Implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

On Thursday, April 20, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network.  The briefing discussed recent state initiatives to implement the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.  Other networks on the call included NGA’s Health Policy Advisors Network, the Opioid State Action Network (OSAN), and the members of the state teams participating in the Deflection and Prearrest Diversion (DPAD) Learning Collaborative.

In 2020, Congress passed legislation creating the new 988 dialing code to support access to crisis care systems throughout the United States.  Nationwide implementation of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline took effect on July 16, 2022, with all telephone service and text providers required to participate.  By dialing 988, individuals experiencing a suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress can be connected to a network of crisis response services.  State 988 initiatives are currently supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

During the briefing, individuals from the Pew Charitable Trust reported on trends, ongoing challenges with implementation, and efforts towards cross-state information sharing.  The call also featured state speakers who provided remarks on how their states have approached 988 programs. 

NGA holds monthly briefings for Governors’ Criminal Justice Policy Advisors. Please reach out to Maria Kearl ( for additional information.