988 Logo

Montana’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 988 to be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or 911 if a person is in immediate danger.

Starting on July 16, 2022, the current ten-digit Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) will change over to 988. Much more than just a switch to an easier-to-remember number, it represents a holistic revision of the State’s suicide prevention and mental health crisis management system.

Montana 988…

  • provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across Montana.
  • All calls to the Montana Lifeline are answered by trained crisis workers at three regional call centers around the state.
  • All Montana crisis centers are accredited, provide training for counselors, and disseminate best practices.
  • Local counselors at crisis centers are familiar with community mental health resources that are part of the Montana 211 network.
  • Montana’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline is an effective, life-saving safety net for those experiencing a mental health crisis, especially those with nowhere else to turn.

Montana 988 is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Calls made to 988 in Montana are routed to one of our three Lifeline call centers: Voices of Hope in Great Falls, The Help Center in Bozeman and Western Montana Mental Health in Missoula. Together, they provide coverage to every county in Montana. Currently, Montana leads the nation in call handling rate with less than ten percent of calls made in Montana being routed to another call center in the network backup system.

Lifeline Call Center Coverage Map

Lifeline Call Center Coverage Mapng

Voices of Hope - Big Horn, Blaine, Carbon, Carter, Cascade, Chouteau, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Garfield, Glacier, Golden Valley, Hill, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Liberty, McCone, Musselshell, Petroleum, Phillips, Pondera, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Stillwater, Teton, Treasure, Toole, Valley, Wibaux, Yellowstone

Help Center 211 - Beaverhead, Broadwater, Deer Lodge, Gallatin, Granite, Jefferson, Madison, Meagher, Park, Powell, Silver Bow, Sweetgrass, Wheatland

Lifeline Call Center (WMMH) - Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Sanders

Resources and Meetings

If you are not currently a member of this group, but would like to participate, please contact John Tabb at john.tabb@mt.gov to be added to the roster.

988 Coalition Meeting Slides – Novemver 15, 2022 
988 Coalition Meeting Slides – August 23, 2022

If you are not currently a member of this group, but would like to participate, please contact John Tabb at john.tabb@mt.gov to be added to the roster.

Crisis Referral Pathway Working Group – TBD

If you are not currently a member of this group, but would like to participate, please contact John Tabb at john.tabb@mt.gov to be added to the roster.

Public Messaging Working Group – June 28, 2022 at 9-10 am

Frequently Asked Questions

The planning for, and implementation of 988 represents a complete relook at the crisis management system in Montana with counties and municipalities working together with state and federal agencies to develop an “air traffic control” level of crisis management, from the time a call is made to a Lifeline center to when the person in crisis is stabilized. It also will involve a unique marketing strategy aimed at raising awareness of suicide across Montana and of the power of 988 to provide a lifeline to individuals in crisis.

988 is Montana’s dedicated crisis lifeline, with trained crisis professionals answering calls 24/7. It is connected to the national 988 Lifeline.

Montana 211 is a national mental health referral service that connects individuals with services. It is not a dedicated crisis line for individuals at immediate risk of suicide.

988 call answerers have access to all of the services listed in 211 so that they can refer individuals to the appropriate service provider in their area.

Contact your local county crisis coordinator and ask them what marketing initiatives exist in your area. The power of Montana 988 is its connection with the communities it serves. Local marketing initiatives, coordinated with state and national messaging campaigns are a great way to build awareness in your community.

The official launch of 988 will be on July 16, 2022. Until then, the ten-digit number will still be the primary Lifeline number. However, some telecom service providers have begun routing 988 calls to the Lifeline network already.