Maine DHHS launches suicide, crisis lifeline 

AUGUSTA — A three-digit dialing code is now available nationwide as an easy-to-remember connection to help for anyone experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis. 

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has launched a 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline that went live in Maine on July 16 after more than a year of preparation by DHHS and a stakeholder coalition including partners from crisis services, 911, EMS and law enforcement.  

The 988 Lifeline responds 24/7 to calls, chats or texts from anyone who needs support for suicidal, mental health, and/or substance use crisis, and connects those in need with trained crisis counselors. Individuals can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. 

“The 988 Lifeline represents a new, easily accessible front door for Maine’s statewide crisis services,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “We encourage anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or those with concerns about a loved one to dial 988 for compassionate, expert help and a connection to support in their community.” 

The 988 Lifeline serves as an alternative to dialing 911 for people who are experiencing emotional distress, thoughts of suicide or a mental health crisis. People in need can receive immediate support from trained mental health specialists while avoiding unnecessary law enforcement involvement.  

According to DHHS, Maine Crisis Line staff members resolve 83 percent of the nearly 10,000 calls a month they receive on average with no further intervention necessary. 



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