WASHINGTON DC – Much like calling 911 in an emergency, there will be a nationwide rollout of calling or texting 988 to bolster suicide prevention and mental health crisis services (beginning July 16). July).
Suicide prevention is a critical need.
As of 2008, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide claimed the lives of more than 44,000 Americans in 2020, and evidence suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated suicidal thoughts and
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the North American Numbering Council, has recommended the use of 988 as the 3-way code. figures for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The FCC passed rules in 2020 designating 988 U.S. citizens in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors in their respective communities. With a target completion date of mid-2022, this effort will allow telephone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide and Prevention Lifeline.
Americans who need help today can find it by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) or through online chats. Veterans and members of the military can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing the number, as well as chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net or by texting 838255.
According to the rules, calls to 988 will be directed to 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), which will remain
operational during and after the 988 transition.
For more information, visit https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.