NEW YORK (PIX11) — Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S., with 45,979 deaths in 2020 alone, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

In 2020, the foundation reported that suicide rates were higher in adults aged 25 to 34 years old and those 75 to 84 years old. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been a leader in suicide prevention and mental health crisis care — providing around-the-clock free and confidential emotional support to people in need.

Now, the group is gearing up to launch its mental health equivalent to 911.

Beginning July 16, those struggling with mental health will be able to call, text, or chat 988 and directly connect with a trained counselor from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

According to the group, numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed and overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor. 

In addition to 988, the current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will remain available for anyone in need. 

For more information on suicide prevention, including additional resources and warning signs, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website.