September 2023 Live Healthy

A New Lifeline

Call or text 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Suicide is a big health problem in the U.S. It's the cause of tens of thousands of deaths for Americans each year. Many things can raise a person’s risk for suicidal behavior. A sense of connection can help. Awareness of mental health issues is key, as well.

Remember the number

Most people know to dial 911 for help. Now, organizers hope 988 will become just as well known. The hotline started in July 2022 to connect callers to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. It offers free, 24/7 support for people in distress. It offers resources for loved ones and professionals, too. People can also connect to the hotline through text or web chat. For details, visit

Depression awareness

About 1 in 6 people will have depression. Depression is a sad mood that lasts a long time and affects daily life. Symptoms may include:

  • Feelings of sadness or anxiety.
  • Loss of interest in regular hobbies.
  • Feelings of frustration or restlessness.
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Help is available. Many people respond well to therapy or medicine. If you or a loved one has feelings of depression, talk to a doctor right away.


People with depression often have anxiety disorders. These are marked by strong feelings of fear or worry. For some people, these feelings can get in the way of daily life. Types of anxiety include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Social anxiety disorder.
  • Panic disorder.
  • Phobia-related disorders.

Therapy or medicine can help. Talk to your doctor.


Awareness and connection are key tools in the fight against depression and suicide. The same is true for bullying. Bullying can lead to mental health problems for young people. Members of the LGBTQ community and those with disabilities or learning differences face an even greater risk. Adult leaders must respond at once to bullying. This has been shown to prevent it over time. Increased awareness and dialogue can help to address bullying and create a strong sense of community.

Conversation and awareness help improve mental health and remove the stigma around it. If people feel a sense of community, they are more likely to ask for help when they need it. If you’re feeling alone, remember to dial 988.

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