Power outage Intrado shuts down mental health hotline 988

The nation’s new 988 hotline, intended to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency, was down for several hours on Thursday.

People who try to contact the line for help with suicide, depression or other mental health crises will be greeted with a message saying the line is “having an outage. “.

People can still reach a mental health counselor via the hotline by texting “988” or opening a chat at

HHS spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim said in a tweet Thursday the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversaw the launch of the three-digit lifeline earlier this year, is in contact with the contractor. support this line.

“We took immediate action to ensure alternative 988 channels are available to the public,” Lovenheim tweeted. She said the outage went on for several hours on Thursday.

Veterans looking to reach the helpline can call the Veterans Crisis Line directly at 877-267-6030. The outage is also affecting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Disaster Helpline.

Helpline 988, launched in July, is a national helpline with mental health counselors across the country designed to be as memorable as the emergency line, 911.

Intrado, the telecommunications provider for the service, could not be immediately reached for comment. In a statement on its website, the company said it was “experienced with an issue affecting production across multiple systems” and was “working hard to restore service”.

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