The federal Suicide Prevention Hotline is being targeted as the next service with an easily-remembers three-digit universal access phone number: 9-8-8.
Under the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, Congress authorized federal support for a unified center and call-line for suicide prevention. Currently, Americans can call toll-free from anywhere to 1-800-273-8255 and reach a trained professional to assist “in the moment” with any potential self harm.
The Federal Communications Commission is considering a next step – simplifying that contact as a “number to know” for all Americans, as 9-8-8. From coverage on The Hill:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving forward with a proposal to create a three-digit, nationwide suicide prevention and mental health hotline, the agency announced Thursday.
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau and Office of Economics and Analytics submitted a joint report to Congress on Wednesday laying out its recommendation for the new hotline to be designated 988.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he intends to act on the recommendation and move forward with a rulemaking proceeding.