Charting Connecticut is a regular feature produced by the CT Mirror's data team that looks at Connecticut through a quantitative lens.

In July 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, formerly a 10-digit phone number, converted to 988 in hopes that a three-digit number would be more accessible to people in distress. Anybody could dial 988 and be connected to a trained counselor in the state their area code corresponds to. States were expecting an influx of calls given the change to a more easily recognizable and memorable number.

Since the change, Connecticut has received over 36,000 calls from residents across the state, an average of about 3,000 calls per month, according to data from the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. This is about a 62% increase from the previous year, where the state received over 22,000 calls, an average of about 1,800 calls a month.

Anticipating the rise, state officials increased staff and funding and now have 34 full-time specialists trained to answer 988 calls along with additional part-time and per diem staff.

Of those 36,000 calls received, 93% were answered in-state, while the rest were either sent to a national backup center or abandoned. When a call is abandoned, it means that the caller was not able to reach a counselor for a variety of reasons including a change in mind, service interruption, or a counselor was not able to answer the call. About 1,700 calls were abandoned in from July 2022 to June 2023.

If you or someone you know is in mental health distress or is thinking of suicide, please call or text 988 for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, or chat In an emergency, call or text 911.

José is CT Mirror's data reporter, reporting data-driven stories and integrating data visualizations into his colleagues' stories. Prior to joining CT Mirror he spent the summer of 2022 at the Wall Street Journal as an investigative data intern. Prior to that, José held internships or fellowships with Texas Tribune, American Public Media Group, ProPublica, Bloomberg and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. A native of Houston, he graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism.