Seeking support in New Mexico for those struggling with mental health has gotten easier with a 24/7 hotline that provides support to those in need. 988 is a new, free and easy to remember nationwide helpline for emotional, mental or substance use crisis. It’s part of a larger initiative to build out a behavioral health infrastructure for people in distress to have someone to call, someone to come, and somewhere to go.
Trained, behavioral health professionals who know community mental health and substance use resources answer the 988 calls, texts and chats. They will listen, offer support and work together with the caller to develop a plan for safety and recovery.
While September is the month for National Suicide Prevention, the 988 hotline can open the door for all New Mexicans to seek mental well-being or substance use help, while sending the message that healing, hope, and help are happening every day. Those seeking support may remain anonymous if they chose.
The helpline initiative is an important first, but not final, step in reimagining New Mexico’s behavioral health crisis system to respond to anyone in need. HSD/BHSD believes New Mexicans deserve to have mental health resources within reach. Building the Crisis Now Continuum of Care is about meeting people where they are at when they need it most. This transformation will take time and requires resources from federal, state, and local levels to prepare the crisis system to better meet these needs.
How is 988 different from 911?
A behavioral health crisis needs a behavioral health response. 988 was established to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets our country’s growing crisis behavioral health care needs. 988 provides easier access to related behavioral health crisis resources, which are distinct from 911 (where the focus is on dispatching Emergency Medical Services, fire, and police as needed).
How it Works
People who call 988 have three options:
- Press 1 to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line
- Press 2 to connect with the Spanish Subnetwork
- Remain on the line and be connected to a local crisis center; if local crisis center is unable to answer, the caller is routed to a national backup center
TEXT or CHAT
People who text “TALK” to 988 will be connected to crisis centers equipped to respond to texts. Chat will be available through the Lifeline’s website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat. For more information about the 988 hotline click here for English and Spanish.