The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is getting a major update – on July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will connect you or someone you love to a crisis call center staffed by trained mental health crisis counselors. Implementation of 988 will mean that people who are in crisis or experiencing mental health distress are one easy-to-remember dial away from receiving the help they need.

988 phone calls are routed by the caller’s area code to a nearby, local crisis call center. Kansans are served by three crisis call centers: COMCARE of Sedgwick County, Johnson County Mental Health Center, and Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ.

The 988 Crisis Hotline Legislation is currently on hold with the Kansas Legislature – and 988 crisis call centers need our help to ensure long-term, sustainable funding sources are identified to make these services available for those who need them across the state of Kansas.

How You Can Advocate for 988

If you feel passionately that Kansas should pass the 988 Crisis Hotline Legislation, you can make your voice heard by reaching out to your Senators to ask them to support this legislation. A sample email is provided below that you can easily copy and paste into an email.

How to find your legislator:

  • Click here to find your local legislators.
  • Enter your home address in the box.
  • The names of your House representative and your Senator will appear. If you click on their name, you will be directed to another page that has their contact information.
  • If you know your legislators by name, you can get their contact information here under the Legislators tab at the top. The House and Senate rosters are listed alphabetically.

Sample Email

Subject line: Please support HB 2281 – 988 Crisis Legislation

Dear <Title> <First Name> <Last Name>:

I am writing to ask you to vote for HB 2281 – 988 Crisis Legislation. As a Kansas [teen/community member], this bill is very important to me and my family. Kansas has lost too many lives to the tragedy of suicide. Providing this resource to communities across the state will save lives! At a minimum it can help get those who are struggling the help they need sooner, before it reaches crisis level, before it requires law enforcement or emergency room intervention.

(You may have a different main reason to support the bill – insert your own reason.)

Please vote for HB 2281.


<First Name> <Last Name> <Address or City>

About the Kansas Crisis Hotline Legislation: This bill presents Kansas with the mechanism to establish a protected suicide prevention trust fund, which would be utilized to fund 988 crisis call centers and other crisis mental health services. A monthly telephone line service fee was originally presented as an option for funding, but has been a hang-up for the bill. After being referred to the House Energy Utilities and Environment Committee, where the fee was pulled out, recommending funding from the state general fund and moving it into House Substitute for SB 19. The Kansas Legislature left Topeka for First Adjournment without passing the initial 988 Crisis Hotline Legislation. House Substitute for SB 19 – the LIVES Act – is now in the hands of a six-member conference committee on health care legislation. It must be passed by the end of the Veto Session that begins April 25 in order to become law. Learn more here.

Sources: Kansas Mental Health Coalition, Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ