Shorter Suicide Hotline Number Coming
The Federal Communications Commission has decided to make the suicide hotline a 3 digit number.
According to WOOD, after doing some research, the FCC has decided to go with a 3 digit number similar to 911 for the suicide hotline. This is being put into place to make it easier for people to reach out who are in need of help.
The new number will be 988. The study to the FCC did had overwhelming evidence that the 3 digit number would be easier for people to remember and call under a distressed situation.
The current suicide hotline number, 800-272-TALK (8255), is still the number to use until 988 becomes active.
There 2.2 million calls that were made to counselors in 2019 alone.
It is going to take another month or so before the FCC can get 988 active for people to call.
Suicide has increased 30% over the past few decades and unfortunately the holidays are usually when the numbers increase.
The new shorter number will likely lead to more calls but also likely lead to helping more people. This does come with a price tag of an additional $50 million a year for call centers to handle the volume plus keep them staffed.
The number is not just for suicide, it can be used for substance abuse, mental health problems, etc. Basically, its for people who are in need and have no where else to turn.
You will not be able to text 988 once it become active. Other lines will be offered by texting 273TALK to 839863.