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FCC moves closer to establishing 988 suicide prevention hotline

The US Federal Communications Commission will vote next month on final rules to create a three-digit number for a national suicide prevention hotline.

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Igor Golovniov/Getty Images

The US Federal Communications Commission will vote on the final rules to designate 988 as the three-digit number for a national suicide prevention and mental health hotline. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday said the final vote will take place July 16. 

"988 will save lives," said Pai in a release from the FCC. "Helping Americans in crisis connect to counselors trained in suicide prevention is one of the most important things we can do at the FCC."  

The rules, proposed last year, would require all phone companies to transmit calls to 988 to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which at the moment is reached via 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). If the rules are adopted, phone providers will have until July 16, 2022, to make the switch. 

The 1-800 number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline would remain operational during and after the transition, the FCC said.


If you're struggling with negative thoughts or suicidal feelings, here are 13 suicide and crisis intervention hotlines you can use to get help.

You can also call these numbers:

US: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. 

UK: The Samaritans can be reached at 116 123. 

AU: Lifeline can be reached at 13 11 14. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.