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988 Available in American Sign Language

May 2, 2024

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Made possible by Direct Video Calling (DVC) technology, any Deaf or hard of hearing individual can contact directly in American Sign Language by dialing 9-8-8. 

If someone is experiencing difficult thoughts, a mental health crisis, or a substance abuse crisis, they can access the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in several ways to receive support:  

1. Videophone: Dial 988 on your VP.*  

2. Desktop or Laptop: Visit 988’s webpage for Deaf and Hard of Hearing users ( and scroll down to find the ASL Now button.  

3. Chat or Text: Visit 988’s webpage for chat and text ( and follow the instructions to start a conversation with your preferred chat method.  

*Make sure that your videophone is updated. Need help on how to update your software and platforms? Please contact your videophone provider through their customer care team, such as Sorenson, Purple, Convo, and ZVRS.

Stay Informed in ASL: We’ve got you covered! Sign up with your email at or follow us on social media for new and current health updates. 

Transcript and Video Description

[Video Description: The post has a video thumbnail with a teal shading overlaid. The middle has a text bubble that reads “What is 988?” in white text with rose background. In the video: a young woman with clear glasses wears a white striped shirt. 

Transcript: What is 988? It’s the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline service provided by the federal government for free. If you need support when you are facing difficult thoughts and emotions, mental health struggles, or substance abuse crises, 988 is available to support you. You can call or text 988 anytime. 988 is available 24/7! Wonderful, right? How do you connect with a crisis counselor directly in ASL? You can connect with them online by visiting the website and clicking on ASL Now. It is your choice if you want to chat, text, or use a videophone. Heads up! Make sure your videophone is upgraded and up-to-date to be able to easily connect with an ASL counselor directly. If you have not updated your VP yet and you call, you will connect with a VRS interpreter, and then you will be directed to an ASL counselor. But, if you update your VP, you will be able to easily connect to the ASL counselor directly. [The screen fades to show a thumbnail of a faded white background of a doctor holding hands with another individual] Deaf. Healthy. DeafHealth. Learn more at] 

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