Vibrant Emotional Health Provides Contact Community Services with 988 State Planning Grant

Grant Monies Will Be Used to Prepare New York State for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 Dialing Code, Effective July 2022

CENTRAL NEW YORK (January 26, 2021) – Contact Community Services is pleased to announce it has received the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 State Planning Grant through Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline). Through the grant, Contact Community Services will participate in the development of strategic plans for New York in preparation for the projected infrastructure needs, volume growth, and access to the Lifeline’s new 988 number. Vibrant has awarded grants to 49 states and territories.

In July 2022, 988 will become the national three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Americans needing support should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until then.

“Access to mental health and crisis support has never been more critical for Americans,” said Kimberly Williams, President and CEO of Vibrant Emotional Health. “Vibrant is committed to providing the states and territories with some of the resources they’ll need to plan for the implementation of 988 and to support their local crisis centers. By working together, we will increase access to care, reduce the stigma around mental health and, ultimately, save lives.”

In partnership with NYS Office of Mental Health, Contact Community Services will develop clear roadmaps to address coordination, capacity, funding, and communications surrounding the launch of 988. Contact Community Services will collaborate with state leadership, suicide prevention experts, people with lived experience, and others to create a 988-implementation plan and support the Lifeline’s operational, clinical, and performance standards that allow access to care.

“Contact Community Services is pleased to be part of the planning effort to bring 988 to New York State,” said Cheryl Giarrusso, Division Director for Crisis Intervention Services of Contact Community Services. “As a current Lifeline center, we see great value in making lifesaving support more accessible with an easy to remember 3-digit dialing code. 988 will allow for better access to mental health support and will help to save lives.”

“In Central New York, Contact Community Services Inc. provides critical suicide prevention and counseling services while helping handle local calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I championed legislation to make the Lifeline’s number more accessible and am glad to see this new grant helping Contact Community Services meet the anticipated rise in call volume,” said Rep. John Katko. “As Co-Chair of the Mental Health Caucus in Congress I’ve worked to expand access to mental healthcare and introduced bipartisan legislation that would increase funding to local call centers like Contact Community Services. As we transition to the new 988 number, I’ll keep working to fully fund crisis centers to ensure those in-need have access to lifesaving assistance.”

Vibrant believes the new 988 number, once implemented, will ensure the Lifeline will continue to be America’s mental health safety net by providing emotional support for people in distress, reducing suicides and mental health crises, and providing a pathway to well-being for all.

About Contact Community Services, Inc.
Founded in 1971, Contact Community Services, Inc. is a multi-faceted non-profit organization that supports the social, emotional, behavioral and mental health of children, youth and adults in Central New York. Contact delivers this support through three broad program areas: Crisis and Suicide Prevention; School Support Services; and Training and Education. For more information, visit or follow us socially on Facebook; Instagram and Twitter.

About the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a leader in suicide prevention and mental health crisis care. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support and crisis counseling to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 180 local crisis centers, uniting local resources with national best practices. Since its inception in 2005, the Lifeline has engaged in innovative public messaging, development of best practices in mental health, creative partnerships, and more to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention for all.

About Vibrant Emotional Health
Vibrant Emotional Health is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and families achieve emotional wellbeing. For over 50 years, our groundbreaking solutions have delivered high-quality services and support, when, where and how people need it. We offer confidential emotional support through our state-of-the-art contact center and crisis hotline services that use leading edge telephone, text and web-based technologies and include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, NFL Life Line and NYC Well. Through our community wellness programs individuals and families obtain supports and skills they need to thrive. Our advocacy and education initiatives promote mental wellbeing as a social responsibility. Each year we help more than 2.5 million people live healthier and more vibrant lives. We’re advancing access, dignity and respect for all and revolutionizing the system for good. Visit And follow Vibrant on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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