StarVista’s Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center will begin answering 988 calls in San Mateo County starting July 16, 2022. Here’s everything you need to know about this nationwide initiative.
What is 988?
988 is a federal initiative launching nationwide on July 16, 2022, that aims to improve the crisis response system in America. In 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to be operated through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sees 988 as a first step towards a transformed crisis care system in America. The current Lifeline number will continue to be available after the launch of 988 on July 16, 2022.
How does 988 work?
When experiencing a mental health crisis, individuals will be able to dial 988 as an alternative to the current National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number 1-800-273-8255 and be directed to their local crisis call center for support. The goal of this initiative is not to be a replacement for 911, but for the 3-digit dial code to provide accessibility for emotional support and the same authority as 911.
How is the StarVista Crisis Center involved with 988?
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is composed of more than 200 local and state-funded Crisis Centers throughout the United States. Calls to the Lifeline are forwarded to the nearest Crisis Center based on the area code of the caller.
The StarVista Crisis Center is a participating call center that operates the 24/7 Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 in San Mateo County. Most local calls to the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline with the 650-area code are forwarded to the StarVista Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center.
What does the StarVista Crisis Center do and how do I contact them in a crisis?
The Crisis Center provides suicide intervention services and programs for San Mateo County residents, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, mobile youth crisis response team, online and text teen crisis support, and educational presentations to the community and schools. Learn More.
There are two ways to contact the StarVista Crisis Center in a mental health crisis:
1. Call StarVista’s 24/7 Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350
2. Starting July 16, Call 988*
*It is important to note that 988 calls are redirected based on area code and not by their geolocation. Most 988 calls with the 650-area code will be forwarded to the StarVista Crisis Center.
StarVista’s 24/7 Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for crisis intervention. Trained crisis workers treat callers with empathy and compassion and provide referrals for community resources and services.
If you are a San Mateo County resident without a 650-area code and would like to access the StarVista Crisis Center, please call our local line at 650-579-0350.
How can I help bring awareness to this new initiative?
Check out StarVista’s Social Media Toolkit for the launch of 988 and help us spread the word!
StarVista’s Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention leadership team discusses 5 common myths about calling the crisis line, and what callers can expect when they utilize this service. Watch 5 Crisis Hotline Myths with the StarVista Crisis Center.