988: Know the Number

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline logo

Task: Launch 988, the newly approved 3-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and make it famous. (Brief from the November 2019 Young Shits competition). Our work was awarded “Runner-Up” in the global competition.

Insight: According to a Suicide Crisis Counselor at an L.A. call center, almost all callers find the current Lifeline number by Googling “how do I kill myself,” “hotline number,” “suicide,” or other related content.

Direction: How do we reach callers before they have to Google us?

During National Suicide Prevention Week 2020, Google will help launch the “988: Know the Number” campaign with a branded “Google Doodle” — a well-known format Google already uses to highlight historic moments and celebrate occasions. And with 63,000 searches per second on any given day, Americans will be introduced to the new Lifeline number on a large scale, hopefully eliminating the need to Google it in the future.
In order to fully leverage this partnership, other Google products and services will be integrated to further increase awareness of the new 988 number. The campaign will engage Americans who may use competing search engines through Youtube, with a large animated homepage banner and pre-roll ads running before videos throughout the week.
With suicide being the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds and more than half of the nation’s school-aged children using Google education apps, this partnership has the potential to provide schools with mental health resources to distribute to their students. A pre-packaged “988: Know the Number” presentation will be promoted and available for free for all teachers and students using Google Classroom.
We’ll utilize the Google Fi cellular network to send SMS messages directly to users.
Finally, to encourage further awareness, Google One Today will highlight the Lifeline as a “Featured Project” on World Suicide Prevention Day.

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