Mental health hotline 988 reopens after national service shutdown

The nation’s 988 hotline, which aims to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency, reopened on Friday after a day of shutdown.

Call service, which is Released in July, was restored just before midnight on Thursday. People in a mental health crisis can still reach a mental health counselor by texting 988 or visiting to start a chat.

The federal government is investigating the incident Hotline is downDepartment of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim said in a tweet Thursday night.

“While HHS and VA took immediate action to provide support to 988 callers via text, chat and alternative numbers, interruptions of phone service are unacceptable and HHS continues continuing to investigate the root cause of the incident,” she wrote on Twitter, referring to the acronym for Veterans Affairs.

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Telecommunications company Intrado, based in Omaha, Nebraska, provides emergency response services. It did not return repeated requests for comment.

In a statement on Intrado’s website on Thursday, the company said it was “working as quickly as possible to continue providing a full service.” The outage also affects the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disaster Helpline.

The hotline 988 is a national helpline staffed by mental health counselors around the country designed to be as memorable as the emergency line, 911. Since its launch, the hotline has received approximately 8,000 messages. phone calls every day from people seeking mental health help.

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