On Thursday, CNN reported that the FCC has approved a three-digital phone number that people in the US can dial when needing to get in touch with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988.
To offer those experiencing crises faster and easier access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Federal Communications Commision unanimously voted on Thursday to dedicate the three-digital number 988 to the hotline; instead of having to remember or look up a ten-digit 1-800 number in order to call the support center, it will be as simple as calling 911 or any of the other short-code numbers.
Regarding the matter, FCC chairman Ajit Pai stated, "My hope is that by establishing a government-backed 988 suicide and mental health three-digit dialing code, on par with the 911 dialing code all Americans know for emergencies, we will send a powerful signal that there is nothing shameful about seeking help in times of crisis. That it's a sign of strength, not one of weakness. We will let people know that they are not alone."
Ajit also said that the FCC is considering offering a texting service in the future, as today's youth are more attuned to that medium of communication rather than vocal phone calls.
The organization offers support to callers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
By July 16, 2022, Americans will be able to get in touch with the national hotline by dialing just 988. The currently existing ten-digit number will continue to be active as well.