Guilford County government, the Guilford County chapiter of the National Alliance For Mental Illness and other community partners have helped launch the new national Crisis Lifeline – 988 – in Guilford County.

This new service is free and completely confidential.  It includes a Spanish-language option as well as an interpretation service for more than 150 languages.

The service went into effect this weekend and now people can call or text 988 from anywhere in the United States to be connected with “compassionate, accessible care” anytime a mental or behavioral health crisis occurs.

In Guilford County, the Behavioral Health Crisis Center, which opened last year, is expecting to see new patients due to the new easy-to-use access alternative.

Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion said this week that she’s thrilled the new resource is available. Cashion, who’s spent much of her two decades on the board focused on mental health issues in the county, said that, whenever there’s a mental health or substance abuse crisis, in the past it could be tough to know who to call for help.

That should change as word gets out about the new lifeline.

“When you or someone you know is in crisis, all you have to remember is three simple numbers – 988,” Cashion said.

The service connects people with trained crisis counselors who help callers find community-based providers that offer a full range of crisis care services.

According to statistics for the year 2020, in the US there was one death by suicide every 11 minutes. It is currently a leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34.

During the pandemic, many mental health and substance abuse problems were exacerbated. From April 2020 to April 2021, over 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the US.

Guilford County Behavioral Health Crisis Center Debra Mack director said, “The Guilford County Behavioral Health Crisis Center is open and available for anyone, ages four and older, who needs mental or behavioral health support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are trained and ready to help and, like 988, our service is free and confidential.”

No appointment is ever needed at the Guilford County Behavioral Health Crisis Center and it’s open 24/7 at 931 Third Street in Greensboro.

In addition to calling or texting 988, those who need help with mental health or substance abuse can chat with someone at