Mental health or substance abuse crisis? Call 988


Ohio’s new 988 number for those experiencing mental health or addiction crises is up and running.

Launched on Saturday, Ohioans dealing with a mental health or substance abuse emergency can now dial or text 988 to get connected with a licensed counselor — a move aimed at expanding access to care while eliminating the hassle of punching in, and remembering, the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.

“This is just going to be eventually as ubiquitous as 911,” said Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, bureau chief of the Office of Prevention at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS).

The statewide transition to 988 comes about a month after the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to align the Buckeye State with a federal mandate requiring phone service providers to direct 988 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16.