HEALTH

FCC Expected To Shorten Suicide Hotline Number To ‘988’

Jun 23, 2020, 9:40 AM
FILE (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)...
FILE (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
(Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Federal regulators will vote in July on whether to make “988” the number to reach a suicide prevention hotline.

The Federal Communications Commission says phone service providers will have until July 2022 to implement the new number, if the measure is approved in July, as expected.

Once it’s in place, people will be able to dial 988 to seek help, like how you can call 911 for an emergency. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255), which routes calls to about 170 crisis centers.

That 800 number will remain in place, but having the shorter number makes it easier for people to call, and is expected to lead to an increase in calls to the hotline.

Suicide-prevention experts have said that the three-digit number will be a breakthrough that helps people in crisis. One aspect of designating a three-digit number for the hotline, just like 911 for emergencies, is that it removes stigma for seeking help in a mental-health emergency, they say.

The government’s action comes as suicide rates have increased across the U.S. over the past two decades. The coronavirus pandemic has put even more strain on the nation’s mental health care system, and experts have been concerned about the impact as the virus and its aftershocks may deepen people’s levels of anxiety and depression.


SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES 

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Additional Crisis Hotlines 

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433 
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000 
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393 
  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741 
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386 
  • University Of Utah Crisis Interventional Crisis Line: 801-587-300 

Online resources 

In an emergency 

  • Call 911 
  • Go to the emergency room 
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Health

Joan DuQuette and Amanda DuQuette-Roberts...
Ayanna Likens

South Jordan family is thankful for organ donation this Thanksgiving

A local family said they have a lot to be thankful for this year after their family member received a lifesaving kidney transplant, but this transplant actually saved more than just one life.
3 days ago
Baby Revie Moala in pajamas and a beanie....
Ashley Moser

Idaho family says Primary Children’s Hospital nurse was crucial in getting baby to breathe

For weeks the Moala's, who live in Rigby, Idaho, fought for doctors to run tests on baby Revie. Finally she was referred to Primary Children’s Hospital, where Revie was diagnosed with blindness in her right eye.
7 days ago
Home office...
Ayanna Likens

Parents are missing work at record levels due to sick kids

With RSV, the flu, and COVID-19 spreading across the nation, parents are missing work at an all-time high due to kids getting sick.
8 days ago
Thanksgiving feast...
Ayanna Likens

Taking food allergies into account this holiday season

As Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations bring people around the table, Intermountain Healthcare dietitians say it's crucial to take food allergies into consideration when planning the big meal.
8 days ago
air purifier...
Mike Anderson

Free air purifiers are available for Utah schools to help with dirty air, RSV

It doesn't take a website or a special device to see how dirty Utah's air can be. But some parents, like Brad Plotow, might notice it more than others.
9 days ago
In many ways, the pandemic exposed mental health challenges in every age group. But it also raised ...
Jed Boal

Third annual Utah Early Childhood Mental Health Summit addresses access to mental health care

Utah aims to be a national leader in addressing mental health issues, including the mental health of the youngest Utahns.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
FCC Expected To Shorten Suicide Hotline Number To ‘988’