When someone experiences a mental health crisis, the response can mean the difference between life and death. In July 2022, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) transitioned to a new three-digit number, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, for anyone in emotional crisis. The line is available 24/7/365 via call, chat, or text, and it is staffed by trained crisis counselors. Usually a conversation alone is sufficient for a crisis to subside. When additional services are needed, 988 crisis centers activate mobile crisis response and help the person get to a safe place until they feel better.

EDC is a partner on JPA Health’s 988 Communication Support contract, which supports the SAMHSA 988 Communication Team in increasing awareness of 988, creating transparency around who is using the service, and equipping partners to communicate to their constituents about 988. EDC provides general content expertise for the contract, as well as leading 988 Communication partner engagement.

Key Activities

EDC is carrying out the following activities for the project:

  • Identify and engage key partners who can help communicate to key audiences about 988
  • Conduct Listening & Learning Sessions with partner groups to assess their 988 communication needs
  • Lead webinars and develop materials to increase partner understanding of 988 and how they can communicate about it to their constituents
  • Develop new and adapted materials for SAMHSA’s 988 Partner Toolkit
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships with high-value partners who can amplify 988 messaging
  • Monitor partner 988 communications needs, and recommend partner activities and materials to meet them


EDC’s work on the project will have the following impacts:

  • Increase partner awareness of 988 and understanding of how it works
  • Increase the reach and use of 988 Partner Toolkit materials
  • Amplify reach of critical 988 announcements and updates to key partners who are most impacted
  • Through partner engagement and activation, increase general awareness of 988, resulting in increased 988 contacts

Learn More

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

JPA Health