Mental Health

July 29, 2022

VUMC aligns with national 988 suicide prevention number

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has aligned with a national initiative to promote suicide awareness and support suicide prevention efforts.

On July 16, every U.S. state rolled out 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number to call for mental health crises, an easy-to-remember three-digit number for 24/7 crisis care. This hotline is supported by a network of over 200 state and local call centers.

VUMC has updated the electronic health record to reflect this new number. In addition, the updated content is printed on every after-visit summary for patients who have had a positive suicide screen during their inpatient or emergency department stay, eventually expanding to include every patient summary, regardless of suicide screen.

“The pandemic has had an enormous, harmful effect on our collective mental health and well-being due to isolation and even more limited access to psychiatric care. Utilization rates of emergency mental health services in the Emergency Room and inpatient setting are rising rapidly. We all need to be more aware of the importance of mental health access and treatment to reduce our overall risk of psychiatric syndromes, including death by suicide,” said Nathaniel Clark, MD, chief medical officer, Vanderbilt Behavioral Health, and chief of staff for Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital.

A list of mental health and wellness resources available to VUMC employees can be found here: