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The 988 mental health hotline is back online after a major outage

Lydia Zuraw

The national crisis hotline was up and running Friday morning after being down for several hours Thursday. The telecommunications provider for the service says it experienced "an incident."

The nation’s new 988 hotline, intended to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency, is back online after being out of service for several hours Thursday.

Intrado, the telecommunications provider for the service, said it was “experiencing an incident that is impacting production across numerous systems.”

Early Friday, the hotline's Facebook page said: "Following a nationwide network outage at Intrado, call service has resumed to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline."

While the line was down, those trying to reach the line for help with suicide, depression or other mental health crises were greeted with a message that said it was “experiencing a service outage.”

The 988 helpline, launched in July, is a national program staffed with mental health counselors around the country that’s designed to be as easy to remember as the emergency line, 911.

During the outage, people could still reach a mental health counselor through the lifeline by texting “988” or opening a chat at