HHS Increases Funding for 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by $200 Million The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced over $200 million in additional funding for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and related services. This funding will help states, territories, and tribes enhance their local capacity. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra thanked President Biden for prioritizing mental health and making support available through the three-digit 988 Lifeline. The funding reflects the administration’s commitment to strengthening the crisis care system across the country. The funding breakdown is as follows: $177.35 million will go to states and U.S. territories to improve local response, recruit, and train the 988 workforces, enhance technology and security measures, provide support for high-risk and underserved populations, and develop comprehensive communication plans. $17.8 million will be allocated to federally recognized Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Urban Indian Organizations to ensure culturally competent support, improve integration, and facilitate navigation and follow-up care. $5 million will be dedicated to 988 Lifeline crisis follow-up programs, enabling call centers to provide systematic follow-up for suicidal individuals, improve crisis stabilization coordination, reduce unnecessary police engagement, and establish better connections for high-risk populations. The Biden-Harris Administration has made a significant investment of $1 billion in the 988 Lifeline. The initial funding of $432 million supported the transition to 988, crisis center capacity building, and specialized services. Additional funding has come from the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and the federal FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Prior to these investments, Lifeline faced chronic underfunding. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, highlighted the positive impact of the investments. Data shows increased calls, texts, and chats, along with improved answer rates. This means more people in crisis are receiving help promptly. Studies demonstrate that individuals who speak with trained crisis counselors through the 988 Lifeline experience significant improvements in mental well-being and hope. According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2021, 4.8% of adults (around 12.3 million people) had serious thoughts of suicide. Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, 12.7% (approximately 3.3 million people) reported similar thoughts. Suicide was the second-leading cause of death for individuals aged 10-14 and 25-34 in 2021, according to the CDC. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, call, or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.