988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: July 16

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: July 16

When we’re experiencing an emotional or mental crisis, we need to be able to access the help we deserve quickly and easily. And the crisis counselor and resources have to be spot-on. 988 is a go on July 16.

First and foremost, it’s time to make a 988 call if you’re to any degree thinking about suicide or concerned about someone else.

I’ve provided contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline numerous times. In fact, here it is again…

800.273.TALK (8255) and for live chat and information: suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Perhaps you’ve used it or provided the contact information to someone in need.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is introducing a new – quicker, easier, more effecient – way to connect calls and texts to the Lifeline.

988 will be ready for use on July 16, 2022.

The old Lifeline number and website with chat option will continue to be available, as will 24/7 access and excellent translation services.

Just like before, when you use 988 a trained crisis counselor will offer emotional and mental support and connect you with indicated resources.

And keep in mind, the Lifeline is comprised of more than 200 crisis centers. That means there’s an emphasis on locally available help.

When should you call 988?

i don't want to kill myself

July 16, 2022

First and foremost, it’s time to make a 988 call if you’re to any degree thinking about suicide or concerned about someone else.

Beyond that absolute necessity, there are no specific requirements for calling.

Reasons to call

It isn’t all inclusive, but here’s a list of reasons people call the Lifeline…

  • Active thoughts or plans of suicide
  • Suicidal ideation – having thoughts you’d like to die
  • Self-harm or wanting to hurt yourself
  • Struggles with substance use
  • Financial stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Dealing with abuse or domestic violence
  • LGBTQIA+ support
  • Emotional/mental and physical health struggles
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Concern about a friend, family member, client, or others

Got it?

988 FAQs

Let’s take a look at some answers to a handful of FAQs. I’ll line you up with a link at the end so you can go through the full list…

  • You’re not required to share any personal details to use the Lifeline. But even if you do the call is confidential. That changes, however, under certain circumstances. For instance, if you’re in immediate danger of harming yourself or others, staff may request a wellness check by public safety officials.
  • The 988 and 911 systems will be closely coordinated. However, 911 only becomes involved when there’s imminent risk to someone’s life that can’t be reduced during a call.
  • The Lifeline works. Numerous studies have shown that most Lifeline callers are significantly more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to a Lifeline crisis counselor.
  • The Lifeline currently serves TTY users through their preferred relay service or by dialing 711 then 1.800.273.TALK (8255). Services are also available through chat and text. Lifeline is in the process of expanding to video phone service to better serve deaf or hard of hearing individuals.
  • The Lifeline will be available in all 50 states and 5 territories. Of course, the caller has to have access to cellular or internet service.

Perhaps that gives you a bit more insight into the workings of 988 and the Lifeline.

The help we deserve

We’re human, so emotional and mental crises happen. We can handle some of them on our own; however, others exceed our ability to cope.

988 makes accessing the help we deserve quicker and easier. We’ll look forward to July 16.

Much more 988 information from SAMHSA. And those FAQs.

Here are some suicide-related Chipur articles you may find interesting and helpful…

Suicide Prevention: Guidance for family and friends

Saving People from Suicide: An occasional letter?

“I’m so tired of it all.”

And if you’re still in the mood for some reading, there are hundreds of Chipur mood and anxiety disorder info and inspiration articles waiting for you.

Are you suicidal? Someone you know? Read this.

Are you suicidal? Someone you know? Read this.

People kill themselves. Such is the complexity of life, the mind. So many deadly emotional and mental miscalculations. And that’s why we can’t be apathetic when it comes to suicide. Are you suicidal? Someone you know? Read this…

Then there’s the feeling of frozen helplessness and hopelessness that come so quickly for some. It isn’t about weakness or selfishness.

Rough subject matter, isn’t it? But we can’t ignore the painfully obvious, as a suicide death occurs every eleven minutes.

And why shouldn’t we talk about suicide?

If this was a cancer support site, we’d be addressing death and dying. Depression, anxiety, mania, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, desperation – cancer. All potentially deadly, all in the same boat.

Andre’s story

Take a look at Andre above. Here’s his story…

Andre has more going on than what appears to be a nasty headache. He was diagnosed with major depressive disorder five years ago and has taken an antidepressant ever since.

He participated in therapy for a year after he was diagnosed. But since he was “feeling better,” he turned his back on it – even though he still had his “moments.”

The pandemic

Andre is an ER nurse, so he’s had an ongoing relationship with COVID-19. And it’s an intimate relationship because he tested positive several months ago and was in isolation for three weeks.

But, most important of all, Andre is an average human being – like you and me. And in spite of knowing more than he wants to know about the virus, it continues to scare the heck out of him.

What really shakes his foundation, though, is the change in his definition of “normal.” For Andre, the loss of order is extremely hard to abide. Social distancing, lockdowns, masks, isolation, constant news alerts, inconsistent facts, political fighting – it just isn’t his world.

Of course, his depression makes the chaos all the more intolerable.

Emotional and mental miscalculation

Yes, Andre has more than a nasty headache. In fact, he’s decided he’s out of here. Andre wants to die. He’s had suicidal thoughts in the past, but never said a word.

This time, however. he’s gone beyond thinking. He knows how he’s going to do it and when. That’s called a plan. Andre means business.


i want to die

“I’ve lost hope.”

Anytime can be the “right” time for suicide. But it hits a flash point during times of great upheaval.

But why suicide? I mean, there’s no turning back. If the attempt is successful, it’s over. Done.

Well, let’s first keep in mind that brutal chronic and acute emotional and mental distress is a major player. And a diagnosed disorder like Andre’s doesn’t have to be involved. Even an average dose of, say, catastrophizing at a vulnerable moment can lead to deadly consequences.

Then there’s the feeling of frozen helplessness and hopelessness that come so quickly for some. It isn’t about weakness or selfishness. It’s just that we all have different beaker sizes – capacities for stress and pain.

When the beaker begins to overflow, anything can happen. For many, it’s the ultimate loss of control. And that can’t be accommodated.

Look, no matter what’s at the foundation, it so often comes down to statements such as these to self and others…

I’m out of options. I don’t know what else to do. I’ll get the help I need if I don’t succeed. I’ve lost hope.

There really is so much more, but I think you get the idea.

What about you?

Did you personally relate to Andre’s circumstances? Do you have a feeling someone you know can? If the answer’s yes, it’s time to take action.

After gaining insight into the fact that you likely aren’t thinking and feeling clearly or being fair to yourself, please let someone know. Friend, partner, spouse, family member, counselor, clergy-person – someone.

But if anonymity is an issue for you, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 (TALK). Visit them online, if you’d like. Perhaps there are local resources available to you as well.

That’s a wrap

How ’bout we wrap things up with the words of Golden Gate Bridge jumper and survivor, Ken Baldwin?

I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable – except for having just jumped.

Oh, Andre? He was headed for the door at the end of his shift. His gun was waiting at home. The on-call social worker just happened to be leaving at the same time.

Knowing Andre, she sensed something was up. So she forced him to sit with her on a bench outside. And it wasn’t long before, in tears, Andre spilled his guts.

With the social worker, he went back inside.

If you’d like to read more Chipur mood and anxiety disorder info and inspiration articles, review the titles.

17 Random & Scary COVID-19 Thoughts & Feelings: Understandable, but Disposable

17 Random & Scary COVID-19 Thoughts & Feelings: Understandable, but Disposable

In times like these, mood and anxiety disorder sufferers can come up with some, well, creative thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, they’re often terribly negative and can really bring us down. Sure, they’re understandable. At the same time, they’re disposable. In the spirit of sharing – community – let’s take a look…

I feel fatigued and icky. But I don’t think it’s because of my depression and anxiety. It has to be COVID-19.

I know, I know – I said in our last article I was aiming to keep the COVID-19 hubbub in the background “unless something radically changes.”

Yes, the social isolation guidance has been extended for a month in the US. And I’m aware the “curve” isn’t even close to flattening. But I wouldn’t consider that radical change. I mean, are you surprised at this stage of the game?

Still, I decided to go with the “bug” again because I perceive a real need for community, as well as a sense of reason.

17 Random & Scary COVID-19 Thoughts & Feelings

coroanvirus social distancing

Sharing: In a way we’ll again enjoy soon.

One of the ways we can ramp-up community and reason is to share, and identify with, each other’s thoughts and feelings pertaining to COVID-19. Especially the unsavory ones.

I vividly remember how comforting it was to know others were experiencing similar thoughts and feelings when my disorders were taking-off all those years ago. When I came to know others were in the same boat, it helped me feel less alone, understood, and not so freakish.

In an effort to encourage exactly that, I’m bringing you this list of alarming thoughts and feelings – in no particular order – that may understandably be buzzing about in your mind and heart as the pandemic unfolds.

If they are, I’d like you to do what you can to closely examine them and see what you can do in terms of disposal. Okay?

  1. When is this madness going to end? I can’t take another day, let alone be stuck at home until April 30th. And I bet there’ll be an extension.
  2. I feel fatigued and icky. But I don’t think it’s because of my depression and anxiety. It has to be COVID-19.
  3. What if I have a physical or mental breakdown? The ERs and hospitals are full. Besides, I couldn’t take being there. What will I do?
  4. What if there’s a run on the grocery stores and they can’t restock? I could starve to death.
  5. I went through the drive-thru at McDonald’s and the guy who handed me my food looked sick. I ate the burger, but maybe I should get tested.
  6. What if I tested positive? It’s not like I could get any help. The medical system is overrun. What would happen to me?
  7. Watching the news is freaking me out. But I’m afraid I’ll miss something life-saving-important if I turn the channel.
  8. I live so far from my family. What if I get sick and die? You mean the last time I would have seen them would be the holidays?
  9. What’s really going-on? And how did it really start? They say it’s a pandemic caused by a virus, but you know how that goes. What aren’t they telling us?
  10. I really miss the way things were. What if we never return to normal?
  11. I’ve been tracking the numbers every day. It’s scaring me that they keep going up – a lot. Things aren’t supposed to be that bad, right?
  12. I’ve been clean and sober for so long now. But I know I won’t be able to get through this without using. And, man, those cigarettes.
  13. If I get sick I know I’ll need a ventilator. But there won’t be enough. And I’m sure they’d pick me to do without.
  14. Truth really is this virus is airborne. I’m going to get it whether I distance myself from people or not.
  15. It’s only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose – looting, rioting. Even if there is martial law we won’t be safe.
  16. I’ve taken such huge hits financially. I just know the markets won’t bounce back. There goes my retirement.
  17. See, I’m just jinxed. Of course this would happen to me. I’m a disaster-magnet.

So what do you think? Any of those hit home? If you’d like to add to the list, go ahead and do it in a comment.

We Gotta’ Keep Moving Forward

These are strange and hard times. And it’s so easy for any mood or anxiety disorder sufferer to come up with prize material that can bring them down. But I have to say, I think it’s perfectly understandable.

If such thoughts and feelings have invaded your personal space it’s important that you know you’re not alone. Nor are you some sort of psycho-freak. But it’s equally as important to do all you can to recognize and challenge – dispose of – them. Dang, what potential they have to tear you apart.

We’re going to get past this mess and move forward, people – as a community. Never doubt it.

If you’re looking for an even greater sense of community, consider joining the Chipur Facebook group.

And if you’re longing for some excellent reading material, ya’ gotta’ check-out the Chipur titles.

Coronavirus: Something to Chew on If You Have a Mood or Anxiety Disorder

Coronavirus: Something to Chew on If You Have a Mood or Anxiety Disorder

Experiencing the coronavirus pandemic is stressful enough with standard brain wiring. But if that wiring kinks to a mood or anxiety disorder, this coronavirus business can absolutely mess with your head. If that’s you, here’s something to chew on…

It’s like we want to scream, ‘Stop!’ And, of course, we can’t make that happen.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is dominating just about every aspect of our lives. Doesn’t matter where you live, your political persuasion, how much money you have, your astrological sign, or what you were in a previous life – there’s no running from this baby, and its impact upon how things were.  

A Personal Message

If you’re enduring a mood or anxiety disorder, this something to chew on is exclusively for you.

My guess is you’re pretty spooked by what’s going-on. Geez, the changes, lack of order, uncertainty, interruption of freedom, desertedness, helplessness, and hopelessness. And let’s not forget the mortality factor. 

It all can be so powerfully anxiety-provoking and depressing. Heck, you thought you were already under the influence of some dark stuff. And now donning this opaque veil? Give me a break.

Now, this isn’t where I hit you with a cold “10 Things to Do…” But it is where I make my point…

I absolutely, positively believe we’re going to be okay when the waves finally head back to sea. Now, I didn’t say we’ll all come out unscathed. And we can’t be naive about mortality.

But, you know, I’m not so sure potentially losing one’s life to COVID-19 is really the primary issue for most mood or anxiety disorder sufferers. At least it isn’t for me. No, I think it’s more about those changes, lack of order, uncertainty, etc. I just mentioned. 

It’s like we want to scream, “Stop!” And, of course, we can’t make that happen.

In closing, it’s important to monitor disease updates, pay heed to recommendations and mandates, and play it smart.

It’s also incredibly important to check-in with self on occasion and make the necessary adjustments. For instance, keep in mind how we typically receive, interpret, and react to incoming stimuli. You know as well as I that we’re the champions of cognitive distortion. To name a few: catastrophizing, overgeneralization, and polarized thinking. 

Cognitive distortions exponentially increase fear and overall discomfort. I mean, who the heck needs that? So let’s remain aware of how we emotionally and mentally operate.

Thinking of You and Wishing You the Best

As we part company, I want to emphasize that I understand – I know – where you likely are in your head and heart just now. I also understand – I know – we’re going to make it through this.

And I deeply believe we’ll be stronger and more positively self-aware, with better coping resources, by virtue of our determination and success. You wait and see.

A little something to chew on…

will i always be depressed


Hey! Our private Facebook group, Chipur: Living with the Mood & Anxiety Disorders, may be a great fit for you right about now. Head on over, consider joining, and share your thoughts and feelings.

Are you looking for some reading that’s right up your mood or anxiety disorder alley? Hundreds of Chipur titles await.

13 Things to IMMEDIATELY Consider When You’re SPIRALING DOWNWARD (and scared)

13 Things to IMMEDIATELY Consider When You’re SPIRALING DOWNWARD (and scared)

It’s bound to happen sooner or later, if you’re enduring a mood or anxiety disorder. Maybe it is right now. You find yourself rapidly spiraling downward, scared, and absolutely sure it’s all over but the tumble into the abyss. Good Harry, what now?

Think about your place in existence. What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? What’s life’s meaning for you? If you have some answers, turn to them for resolve. If you don’t, what better time to work on it?

I’ve sure been there. All of the elements of the perfect psych-storm fuse, and the feeling becomes one of utter situational incompetence – and terror. You’re spiraling downward and believe, at the very least, a psych admission is imminent.

Those 13 Things to Immediately Consider

You may chuckle at the prospect of “considering” 13 things in the midst of evolving hell…

Actually, you have a point. However! Just reading the following will allow them to sink-in a bit, and you may be surprised as to how available they’ll be when the chips are down. And why not print the article and keep it close at hand – just in case?

Okay, so how ’bout some “mental health first aid?”

  1. Factor in at least a 40% margin of error when it comes to reality vs. perception. Hey, it’s an awful place to be – I get that. But you can’t forget how good we can be at catastrophizing, as well as other cognitive distortions.
  2. Assess the basics: stressors, diet, exercise, yoga/meditation, sleep, etc. When you get the results, make the adjustments.
  3. Accept the circumstances (yep, I really said that). Whether you like it or not, it’s happening. This isn’t the time for a fight. Let it evolve and you’ll manage as you can.
  4. Think about being safely tucked-in to bed. Everything would be okay, wouldn’t it? So really, nothing anatomical or biochemical is going-on. It’s only a matter of an overloaded immediate reality. That’s manageable, right?
  5. Visualize your whole self – from above – as you navigate your world. It’ll help you see your role in the great order of things, and understand you don’t dominate the set.
  6. Think about your place in existence. What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? What’s life’s meaning for you? If you have some answers, turn to them for direction and resolve. If you don’t, what better time to work on it?
  7. Don’t worry about having a “psychotic break” or “nervous breakdown?” Whatever they really are, they’re the way-exception.
  8. Recall times when your circumstances were the same or similar. And remind yourself you’re still standing, so other than feeling horrible for now, you’re going to be fine.
  9. Picture yourself actually tumbling into the abyss. Yes, imagine the very thing that terrorizes you – take things to the ultimate extreme. What happens? Is life as you knew it truly over? In the end, don’t you rise above it all?
  10.  Find someone with whom you can share what’s going on. It’s really important to express what you’re enduring – thinking and feeling. It’s all about release, processing, back-up, and maintaining social interaction.
  11. Reach-out to someone in need. Doesn’t matter how badly you feel, you can do it.
  12. Sustain forward motion. This is not the time to give-in to thoughts of checking-out of your routine. And keep an eye on isolation and excessive sleep.
  13. Never, ever, ever give-up. No matter the pain and hopelessness, you have to try again (and again).

Maybe a Poem Will Help

How to Stop DepressionOver the years, I’ve written hundreds of poems. And I can’t think of too many of them that weren’t somehow grounded in my mood and anxiety experience.

You name it – anger, frustration, love, fear, inspiration, motivation – all of the key topics have been addressed. Matter of fact, I’m putting a collection together for publication.

Well, anyway, maybe this one will make a difference just now…

I’ll Try Again

Whenever life is hurt and pain
Vision’s blurred by bitter rain
It seems all hope is surely gone
I tell myself
I must go on

At times I feel such deep despair
The burden more than I can bear
I can’t see past another day
But still I must prepare the way

In times of doubt and fainting heart
When from this world I’d choose to part
I know not what the answers are
I must believe
They’re not too far

Whenever life has got me beat
Before I take the grand defeat
I’ll rise once more amidst the rain
And swear to all
I’ll try again

Let’s Wrap It Up

Okay, so it’s bound to happen sooner or later – that scary downward spiral. Who knows? Maybe it’s an issue right now. Does it really surprise you?

But you have to understand that as abysmal as you feel, it’s just not over. Not by a long shot. You’ll rebound.

Come on, take the time to read and absorb our 13 immediate considerations. Heck, print the article and keep it close at hand, just in case.

“Good Harry, what now?” Do it…

Plenty more mood and anxiety disorder goodies to read here on Chipur. 688 titles are but a tap away.