This past week, the FCC voted unanimously to approve a new three-digit phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The new number, “988”, will go into effect on July 16th, 2022.
“Establishing the easy-to-remember 988 as the ‘911’ for suicide prevention and mental health services will make it easier for Americans in crisis to access the help they need,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement.
Up until now, the number for the hotline has been 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). It became much more well-known thanks to rapper Logic who released a song in 2017 that had the number as its title. Of course, a three-digit number will be much easier to remember than one with 11, especially for someone in a crisis.
Of course, a change like this doesn’t come without some push-back. Jessica Rosenworcel, a democratic commissioner, wanted the ability to text the hotline to pass with last week’s ruling. Perhaps that change will be added down the road.