FCC APPROVES NEW 3-DIGIT NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules to make 988 the new nationwide suicide hotline number by July 16, 2022.

Once it’s in place, people will be able to dial 988 to seek help, like how you can call 911 for an emergency. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255), which routes calls to about 170 crisis centers.

That 800 number will remain in place, but having the shorter number makes it easier for people to call, and is expected to lead to an increase in calls to the hotline.

The government’s action comes as suicide rates have increased across the U.S. over the past two decades.