National Suicide Hotline Designation Act Effective This Month

Editor Special to Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.

For 988 to work in our area, providers like NDTC, made the necessary infrastructure changes to support this essential service so it could be available to the public on July 16, 2022, as scheduled. The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number will remain in effect alongside 988. Statistics showed more than two million callers dialed 800-273-8255 in 2020. A number as easy to remember as 911 is expected to mean more calls, so implementing 988 requires expanding call center capacity, boosting crisis response and spreading the word about the number.

Questions regarding information provided in this article can be directed to the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide­prevention-hotline.