It Takes a Community

988 is a national network of local responders. More than 80 local organizations and partners on the ground have been planning for years to make sure Central Maryland’s 988 response provides quality mental health care.

Our local 988 call centers are just the beginning. In Central Maryland, 988 will grow to include neighborhood clinics, a referral network for longer-term care, and emergency response teams who can make sure community residents get specialized mental health care when they need it.


July 2020: The federal government designates 988 as a national helpline number and tasks states and local communities with planning its rollout.

January 2021: Local behavioral health authorities, call center operators and community stakeholders hold their first meeting to plan for a regional response in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Carroll, and Howard Counties.

January 2022: More than 80 community partners agree to unified regional standards for behavioral health crisis services.

April 2022: Maryland General Assembly and the Governor provide $10.5 million in new funding to support the local 988 response for two years.

July 16, 2022: Local call centers begin responding to 988 calls.

Our Partners

The strength of our partnerships has helped Central Maryland lead the way in providing a quality 988 response. Our lead partners include:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and the Here2Help Hotline (410-433-5175) are still working — and can also be reached by calling 988.