New Number for the Veterans Crisis Line

There’s a new, easy-to-remember way to reach the Veterans Crisis Line—Dial 988 then Press 1.

On July 16th, 2022, the United States introduced ‘988’ as a three-digit phone number for 24/7 crisis care. The 988 number links to the Veterans Crisis Line through dialing 988 then pressing 1.

Veterans, service members, and their families can still reach the Veterans Crisis Line with the current phone number 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, or by chat  or text to 838255. The previous 10-digit Lifeline number 1-800-273-TALK (8255) will continue to be operational and will route calls to 988 indefinitely. (

This new service number is known as the ‘988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline’. It is an update to the ‘National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’.

988 does not replace 911. The intent of 988 is to provide a mental health response to a mental health crisis, not a police response as is the default for 911 calls. 988 responders will route as needed to appropriate resources.

988 is a service for anyone who is suicidal or experiencing a mental health– and/or substance use-related crisis. The new, shorter phone number is easier for people to remember to access mental health crisis services.

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line serves Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and those who support them. Callers don’t have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to connect to the Veterans Crisis Line. It is a free confidential service. The caller decides how much information to share.

Learn more about the Veterans Crisis Line Center in this behind-the-scenes video.

And from these resources:


988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline offers 24/7 access to trained counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress.

Transition to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline involves collaboration between SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) and hundreds of public and private sector partners, like crisis centers, state/territory leaders, families with lived experience, mental health and substance use providers, community advocates, and more.

For more information refer to these articles:



HHS Press Office. (2022, July 15). U.S. Transition to 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Begins Saturday.

Moeller, M. (2022, July 12). New nation-wide Veterans Crisis Line number begins July 16 – 988 and Press 1. VA.

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. (2022, July 22). Statement from Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D. on Successful Transition to 988. SAMHSA.

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. (2022, July 15). U.S. Transition to 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Begins Saturday. SAMHSA.

Veterans Crisis Line. (n.d.). 24/7, Confidential Crisis Support for Veterans and Their Loved Ones

Veterans Crisis Line (2022, July 18). There’s a New, Easy-to-remember Way to Reach the Veterans Crisis Line. VA.

Wheatley, B. (2022, January 20). The Intersection of 911 and 988: Decriminalizing Mental Health Crises. The Health Care Blog.





Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Before you fly away...

Were you able to find the resources
you were looking for?