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Gov. Mark Gordon celebrates 1st anniversary of Wyoming’s 988 Suicide Lifeline Service

Governor Mark Gordon says that the 988 service and Wyoming-based crisis counselors are making a difference in reaching individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

(Photo by Stephanie Lam / Cap City News)

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of harming themselves, please call 911. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or text “WYO” to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.

CASPER, Wyo. — Gov. Mark Gordon says the 988 service and Wyoming-based crisis counselors are making a difference in reaching people experiencing a mental health crisis.

According to data from the Wyoming Department of Health, since the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline went into effect, Wyoming crisis workers have taken more than 4,200 calls in Wyoming. Of those calls, 99.8% did not require law enforcement or EMS intervention.

In the year prior to 988, there were nearly 1,800 calls answered, an increase that officials attribute to both increased awareness through advertising as well as the simplified, easier-to-remember number.

“These statistics are very encouraging,” Gordon said. “The fact we are receiving more calls reflects the importance of this service — and the fact that the vast majority are handled without having to rely on law enforcement or EMS underscores the effectiveness and value of the lifeline. Wyoming is taking some positive steps in addressing the issue of suicide, but there is more work to be done.”

Suicide is a significant problem in Wyoming. The state has the most suicides per capita of any state most years. Gordon’s office says he has put an emphasis on shoring up Wyoming’s mental healthcare.

During the 2023 Legislative session, Gordon signed House Bill 65, establishing the 988 system for suicide prevention. The Legislature did not establish a permanent funding source for the lifeline. It is currently funded through June 2025 primarily with federal COVID emergency funds.

Additional information on community-based suicide prevention resources in Wyoming, the Governor’s Mental Health newsletter and the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families is available on the Governor’s mental health website, https://wygovmentalhealth.wyo.gov/.