The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline’s addition of nationwide American Sign Language (ASL) services for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This is part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to increase accessibility to behavioral health care for underserved communities. Since the July 2022 launch, the 988 Lifeline has received more than 5.5 million calls, texts, and chats and will now be available to the millions of Americans who use ASL.
To connect directly to a trained 988 Lifeline counselor in ASL, callers who are Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened can click the “ASL Now” button on 988lifeline.org and follow the prompts. Direct dialing to 988 from a videophone will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, ASL callers can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) from their videophone to reach ASL services.