3-Digit Suicide Hotline Number Has Been Approved By The FCC

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We all learn at a very young age that if you are in need of help in the event of an emergency, that dialing 911 is what we should do. Well, the FCC has just approved the use of another three digit phone number that will also prove to be life saving.

The proposed number, 988, would link callers to an already existing network of crisis centers around the country set up by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That network, comprised of 163 such call centers around the country, is already accessible at 1-800-273-TALK or online right here. But the simplified alternative laid out Thursday would, in the words of an FCC report published in August, “make it easier for Americans in crisis to access potentially life-saving resources.”

The FCC vote does not mean you can dial 988 today and be connected with the suicide prevention hotline. The passing vote simply represents a major step forward in the process, opening a period of public comment on the proposal before the commission reaches the stage of finalizing the rules.

The FCC is looking at an 18-month timeline in order to get the number and system up and functional!

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