Phone carriers are in the process of nationwide implementation of
988 as the easy-to-remember number to call and be directed to the hotline
, after the FCC last year finalized the three-digit number
Both texting and calls to 988 will now need to be implemented by July 16, 2022.
Callers can currently reach the hotline by calling the 10-digit number: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
The commissioners noted that a texting option will benefit young people and people with disabilities seeking help.
“The bottom line is that it shouldn’t matter if you make a voice call or send a text message because we should connect people in crisis to the resources they need no matter how they communicate,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said during the FCC’s open meeting.
The implementation of a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline comes as suicide is a growing public health problem in the United States, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.