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Vermont to launch 3-digit number for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in July

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Posted: Jun 23, 2022| Categories: Featured , Uncategorized

Vermont will join the rest of the U.S. in launching 988 as an emergency phone number for mental health distress and crises.

The number is scheduled to become active and accessible July 16. Photo illustration by Natalie Williams/VTDigger

Vermont will join the rest of the nation in launching a new three-digit number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in July, using base funding from the state budget. 

All states will be federally required to offer the three-digit number, 988, by July 16, as a mental health provision. On Thursday, Gov. Phil Scott signed H.740, legislation that allocates continued government funding to support Vermont’s Lifeline staffing and infrastructure. 

Since 2019, Vermont has established two certified call centers that operate through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — though currently, the Lifeline is accessible only by calling 800-273-8255 or by way of a 10-digit number for the individual Vermont-based units. 

The two affiliated Vermont-based organizations that receive calls on the national hotline are Northwestern Counseling and Support Services and Northeast Kingdom Human Services. Ten community mental health centers have their own crisis lines. 

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