Verizon expands customers' ability to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

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Heidi Flato
Rich Young

Users can now dial or text 988 to connect with critical resources in times of need

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Verizon’s landline customers can now call the “988 Suicide and Crisis Prevention Lifeline” using the new 988 abbreviated dialing code. Wireless customers can also send text messages to the 988 short code. 

“Now more than ever, we need to make resources available and ensure that experts in suicide and crisis prevention are easily reachable to those in need,” said Kathy Grillo, Verizon SVP of Public Policy and Government Affairs. “We’re proud to do our part in this critically important endeavor.”

“I want to thank my colleagues in Verizon’s Network Organization for their hard work and dedication in making this happen. Having the ability to directly dial or text 988 and quickly reach an experts and resources will make a tremendous difference in so many ways,” Grillo added.

Verizon’s wireless customers have been able to dial 9-8-8 for voice calls since December 2020. Starting July 16, 2022, all of the company’s landline customers can dial 9-8-8 for voice calls, and wireless customers with text messaging plans can also send a text message to 988.

As part of this new feature:

  • Wireless callers should dial 9-8-8 just as they dial any other three-digit code like 911 or 211. There are no airtime or other charges. 

  • To reach the Lifeline via wireless text message, they should enter “988” as the recipient and initiate their conversation with the Lifeline, just as they send any other text message. There are no charges for 988 texts.

  • Landline callers should dial 9-8-8, just as they dial any other three-digit code.*

For voice calls, callers can press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line, and “2” for Spanish language support. And the Lifeline’s current toll free number – 1-800-273-8255 – remains available. 

More information about 988 is available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at:

*Customers dialing from multi-line phone systems that require a prefix will still need to dial the prefix first when calling 988.

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