Per WMATA: A new three-digit lifeline number is now available to help individuals experiencing a life-threatening crisis. In Metro station entrances, platforms and top garage levels, customers will see enhanced signs with the new Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number, 988.
The three-digit nationwide phone number is available for anyone having a suicidal crisis or mental health related distress. Individuals can speak directly with trained crisis counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls and texts are free and confidential. The 988 number does not replace calling 9-1-1 or MYMTPD for immediate medical and emergency situations.
The public awareness initiative echoes #YourMetro commitment to providing crisis support, safety and wellness resources to its customers and aligns with national efforts to increase awareness of mental health prevention resources. The initiative is the result of Metro’s Suicide Prevention and Awareness Taskforce.
“Mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent in the United States in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this trend,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. “As more people experience symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions, it is imperative that we increase our efforts to provide support and resources. We truly want people to get the help they need.”
In addition to the displays, Crisis Intervention Specialists continue to work collaboratively with Metropolitan Transit Police Department officers by assisting individuals in crisis and those who often experience mental and substance use disorders. Metro also recently hired Metro Ambassadors who will be in select stations to aid customers by offering proactive engagement and assistance with transit related questions.