WASHINGTON D.C. — Just like calling 911 in case of an emergency, there will be a nationwide rollout of calling or texting 988 for strengthening suicide prevention and mental health crisis services (beginning July 16).
Suicide prevention is a critical need.
Since 2008, suicide has ranked as 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 that 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 988 as the 3-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The FCC adopted rules in 2020 designating 988 for US 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, the effort will result in telephone service providers directing 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 Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, as well as by chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net or texting 838255.
Under 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.