September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

ADRC Answer of the Month

It’s a good time to talk about the newest resource available to Alaskans: 988, the three-digit, nationwide phone number which connects directly to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Not only is this an easy-to-remember number – it’s a direct connection to care. Care that is compassionate, and supportive for anyone experiencing mental-health related distress, whether thoughts of suicide, mental health, substance use crisis or any other kind of emotional distress, or for someone worried about a loved one needing crisis support. The launching of 988 is significant in that it normalizes an emotional distress crisis and shows support for those of us in difficult times and times of intense distress - including and not limited to suicide prevention.

Too many of us experience mental health related distress without the support and care we need. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is confidential and includes a national network of more than 200 crisis centers, operating 24 hours/7 days a week through call, text or chat.

Is 988 replacing the Careline? No. The Careline provides suicide prevention response, but it is also a number that Alaskans can call if they are feeling sad, depressed or just need someone to talk to. Lifeline 988 will be available to Alaskans along with Careline, at 877-266-HELP (4357), which will continue to take calls like before.

Information about the Careline can be found on the Careline Alaska website at

What happens to Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255? Calls and texts to Lifeline will reach the 988 Lifeline.

When do I call 911? If someone you know is actively suicidal or have attempted suicide, call 911.

To learn more, visit or

Suicide was the second leading cause of death overall for Alaska youth and young adults, ages 15 to 34, and is most often preventable. Let’s all spread the word about 988 – a simple and direct way for Alaskans to connect to the resources they need.

Submitted by Maureen Haggblom, Anchorage Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) program manager, and the Anchorage ADRC team.

Alaska’s Aging and Disability Resource centers connect seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers with long-term services and supports. For assistance and answers, call your regional ADRC toll-free at 1-855-565-2017. Or visit the Alaska Div. of Senior and Disabilities Services ADRC website at

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