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988 Call Center

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What is 988?

Crisis counselors are available 24/7 by call or text to help individuals in need. They provide help in three important ways:

  1. Crisis Emotional Support: When people find themselves in severe emotional distress, Crisis Counselors can help provide phone-based intervention through non-judgmental active listening.
  2. Safety Planning: For callers in crisis, it is not enough to simply help them calm down during the phone call itself. Safety planning helps ensure the caller has some clearly defined “next steps” to help prevent the crisis from recurring. This often includes connecting the caller to additional resources, whether to help address the underlying causes of the crisis or to connect the caller with more regular mental health support. This also includes follow-up calls to help ensure the caller’s continued well-being.
  3. Connections to in-person crisis intervention: For callers for whom phone-based crisis intervention is insufficient, PATH can connect with in-person crisis intervention services. In most cases, this entails connecting the caller with a psychiatric mobile response team (known in Illinois as a “590 Team”). The goal of both 988 and the psychiatric mobile response teams is to reduce the rate of hospitalizations and limit the involvement of law enforcement in favor of assistance by mental health professionals.

All services are free to callers and confidential.

988 is the new NSPL (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), as of July 2022.


How do I contact 988?

Call or text “988”. Your call or text will be routed to the designated call center. If your designated call center is unable to answer within 2 minutes, your call will automatically be routed to a back-up call center. Do NOT hang up – if you hang up, you will lose your place in line.

You can also reach 988 by dialing the old NSPL number (800-273-8255).

There is no alternate number to reach PATH’s 988 call center directly- you must be routed through the regular 988 call distribution system.


How do I add or update an organization’s details in PATH’s Database?

Whether you are a service provider or a client who would like to report a change, visit this page for more information.

Note: If you are looking to update information about a 590 Team, you must have DMH distribute that information to the 988 call centers on your behalf. Reach out to your DMH contact person directly.


988 in Illinois

There are several 988 call centers in Illinois. PATH serves as the primary call center for a majority of the state and is the backup call center for the rest of the state.



PATH is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) through August 2027.


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