National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) is the United States based suicide prevention network of 161 crisis centers, that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. After dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the caller is routed to their nearest crisis center to receive immediate counseling and local mental health referrals. The Lifeline supports people who call for themselves or someone they care about.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline grant is one component of the National Suicide Prevention Initiative (NSPI), a multi-project effort to reduce suicide, led by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA).
In July 2004, SAMHSA released a notice of funding availability (NOFA) as part of its National Suicide Prevention Initiative (NSPI). In keeping with SAMHSA's duty to advance the goals of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, the NOFA called for proposals from nonprofit organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain a network of certified crisis centers providing suicide prevention and intervention services to those in need using a toll-free number and website.
In September 2004, the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) at www.mha-nyc.org was selected to administer the federally funded network of crisis centers named the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com all place the phone number and website of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline as the reserved first result for when one enters the keyword "suicide" or "How to die".
In June 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with SAMSHA and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide a veterans hotline to help vets in emotional crisis. Veterans who indicate that they are a U.S. military veteran by pressing one after dialing 1-800-273-TALK, are routed to the Veterans Hotline. This service caters to veteran-specific mental health care needs and helps connect vets to the VA Healthcare system.