July 19, 2023 | Washington, DCA new poll from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) finds most Americans (82%) are still not familiar with 988 — a resource to help people in mental health, substance use and suicide crises get connected to crisis support. As communities nationwide work to expand the capacity of 988 call centers and the availability of related crisis services, the new research, conducted by Ipsos, shows that half of Americans say funding 988 should be a high or the highest priority for Congress.

“The fact that 82% of Americans are not familiar with 988 proves that more work needs to be done at the federal and local levels to educate communities about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline as well as having access to other life-saving resources,” said AAS President & Chief Executive Officer Leeann Sherman, MPS, CAE. “Knowing that three-quarters of Americans are willing to pay a fee for 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline funding and 42% of Americans are willing to pay 50 cents or more for a monthly fee to fund crisis services shows that there is a demand for these programs. When 62% of U.S. adults say, ‘mental health care should be a high or the highest priority for funding in Congress’ should shine a much-needed light on the importance of this issue.”

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which launched in July 2022. The American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the world’s largest and nation’s oldest membership-based suicide prevention organization, celebrates the impact that 988 has made and plans to continue supporting improvement efforts to reach more people across the United States of America.

The 988 dialing code operates through what was formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is a network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers around the country.

About American Association of Suicidology

The American Association of Suicidology is the world’s largest and nation’s oldest membership-based suicide prevention organization. Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes the research of suicide and its prevention, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center professionals, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of laypersons who have an interest in suicide prevention. Learn more about AAS at

Responsible reporting on suicide, including stories of hope and resilience, can prevent more suicides and open the door for help for those in need. Visit the Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention: Suicide Reporting Recommendations for more details. For additional information, visit and Stanford University’s Media and Mental Health Initiative. For crisis services anywhere in the world, please visit and in the continental United States chat, text or call 988.


Chris Cosentino
American Association of Suicidology