DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A widespread outage shut down the nationwide mental health hotline “988” for several hours Thursday.

Those who attempted to reach the line staffed with mental health counselors were met with a message that said the line was “experiencing a service outage.” The line has since been restored, according to a Tweet from the lifeline.

Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim said on Twitter Thursday, “We’ve taken immediate action to ensure alternative 988 channels are available to the public.”

Although the line was down, people could still reach a counselor through the lifeline by texting “988” or opening a chat at

Lovenheim later tweeted that the outage was caused by an outage at Intrado, the telecommunications provider for the service.

The Associated Press reported that Intrado could not immediately be reached for comment, however, a statement on its website said they were “experiencing an incident that is impacting production across numerous systems” and that they were “working diligently to restore services.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.