July 16, 2022
Months ago, the FCC unanimously approved 988 as new three-digit suicide prevention hotline. Today, an announcement was made that the process to implement the number will take two years, as telecom and voice service companies will be mandated to have a 988 hotline by July 16, 2022.
Per FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the nation’s suicide rates are at its highest point since World War II. Suicide also disproportionately affects marginalized groups — namely Black Americans, Native Americans, Americans in rural areas, teens and young adults and LGBTQ people.
The current number to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which received 2.2 million calls in 2018.