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IAVA Announces Launch of the 988 National Suicide Lifeline

July 15, 2022

New 9-8-8 Number to Ease Access for Individuals, Veterans, in Distress

Washington, DC Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) announces the launch of the new 988 Mental Health Crisis Lifeline/Veterans Crisis Line (VCL). Beginning tomorrow, veterans can now dial 988 and then press 1 to immediately contact the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL). The new, shorter number will address the need to ensure that individuals and families, including veterans, experiencing mental health distress will be able to easily access help and resources.

“IAVA is proud to join with the Department of Veterans Affairs and our nation’s mental health community to advocate for and support this critical resource for American families,” said IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “Suicide prevention has been a top priority since IAVA’s founding, and we are excited for the 988 number to go live, which will enable veterans and all Americans to more easily access vital support during times of crisis.”

This change is the result of the enactment of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (S. 2661) which designated 988 as the universal telephone number within the U.S. for purposes of the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system, operating through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and VCL. This IAVA-backed bill was signed into law on October 17, 2020. 

IAVA is calling on every state to ensure they are prepared to handle the increase in call volume by adequately equipping and staffing call centers and establishing sustainable funding.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)  is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans, and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at


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