You may remember a year or so ago when we were advised that local calls would eventually need to be dailed with 10 digits rather than 7, adding the area code wherever dialing any local or long-distance number.

It was due to the future three-digit number being put in place for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, to make it easier to get in touch with the Lifeline. According to the Federal Communication Commission report back in 2020: "To ensure that calls to 988 reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, all covered providers will be required to implement 10-digit dialing in areas that both use seven-digit dialing and use 988 as the first three numbers in seven-digit phone numbers.

Some areas around the country already are able to connect, but beginning Saturday, July 16th, it will be active for the entire country.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website emphasizes that "the current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally."

When a person connects via call, text, or chat 988, trained counselors will be on the other end. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline states that their "counselors listen, and understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary."

The Lifeline network operated over 200 crisis centers with trained counselors there to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has shown through many studies, that "callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor."

There are a lot of ways you can learn more about the  National Suicide Prevention from the links provided below from their website:

  • Support your local Lifeline network crisis center, visit the Crisis Centers page here.
  • To learn about the impact of the Lifeline by visiting the By the Numbers page.
  • What happens when you call, text, or chat with Lifeline? Click here for more information.
  • For the history of 988, visit here.
  • To learn how Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the Lifeline, has been supporting states’ implementation planning for 988 through grants, check here.
  • If you’re a Veteran, Service Member, or loved one and want to know more about how 988 will affect the Veterans Crisis Line, click here.

via National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Federal Communications Commission

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