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National suicide crisis hotline experiencing widespread outages

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is experiencing major outages across the country, the service confirmed on its website on Thursday. Image courtesy of 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is experiencing major outages across the country, the service confirmed on its website on Thursday. Image courtesy of 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is experiencing major outages across the country, the service confirmed on its website on Thursday.

"The 988 Lifeline is experiencing service interruptions and it is impacting all calls. If you're in crisis and you need support, text 988 or chat with us online," the service said in a message posted on the top of its website

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The outages began at 10 a.m. EST.

"We are tracking a widespread national system outage at Intrado, a contractor for crisis providers that supports emergency response needs across the country, including the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and the @SAMHSAgov Disaster Distress Helpline," Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary Sarah Lovenheim said on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

"Intrado is experiencing an incident that is impacting production across several systems. We are working diligently to restore service to those impacted as quickly as possible. 911 call processing is not affected. For those trying the national suicide hotline, please text 988," reads a banner message at the top of telecommunications contractor Intrado's website.

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The lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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The Department of Health and Human Services oversaw the launch of the three-digit lifeline earlier this year.

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