FCC Designates “988” as 3-Digit Number for National Suicide Prevention Hotline

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules establishing “988” as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.

All phone service providers will be required to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022, after a two-year transition period. The new rules will apply to all telecommunications carriers as well as all interconnected and one-way VoIP service providers. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of approximately 170 crisis centers, supported by local and state, and public and private sources, as well as by Congressional appropriations through the Department of Health and Human Services.

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