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FCC approves 3-digital suicide prevention phone line launching in 2022

/ 04:47 PM July 22, 2020
Sad depressed young teenage girl sitting by wall

By July 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be reachable by the phone number 988. Image: Voyagerix/Istock

To offer those experiencing crises faster and easier access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted on Thursday to dedicate the three-digital number 988 to the hotline.

Instead of having to remember or look up a ten-digit 1-800 number in order to call the support center, it will be as simple as calling 911 or any of the other short-code numbers.

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Regarding the matter, FCC chairman Ajit Pai stated, “My hope is that by establishing a government-backed 988 suicide and mental health three-digit dialing code, on par with the 911 dialing code all Americans know for emergencies, we will send a powerful signal that there is nothing shameful about seeking help in times of crisis. That it’s a sign of strength, not one of weakness. We will let people know that they are not alone.”

Ajit also said that the FCC is considering offering a texting service in the future, as today’s youth are more attuned to that medium of communication rather than vocal phone calls.

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The organization offers support to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

By July 16, 2022, Americans will be able to get in touch with the national hotline by dialing just 988. The currently existing ten-digit number will continue to be active as well. NVG

The Philippine Department of Health has said that every case of suicide is a tragedy that can be avoided. Thus, people who feel that they may be suffering from mental health problems and need help may call Hopeline hotlines:

  • 804-HOPE (4673)
  • 0917-558-HOPE (4673), or
  • 2919 (toll-free number for Globe and TM subscribers)

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TAGS: Federal Communications Commission, Hotline, mental health, Suicide, suicide hotline, United States
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