FCC Approves Proposal for Making ‘988’ a National Suicide-Prevention Hotline Number

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved a proposal to implement a new resource that will serve as a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.

Under the new proposal, calls made to 988 would be directed to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a national network of 163 crisis centers available at 1-800-273-TALK & online

According to the FCC fact sheet, the proposed rule was conceived after Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018.

The official proposal starts the process of designating 988 as the three-digit dialing code for this purpose, which the FCC said will "help increase the effectiveness of suicide prevention efforts, ease access to crisis services, reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health conditions, and ultimately save lives."