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Last year, the FCC adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. The rules require phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. To ensure that calls to 988 reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, certain parts of the country, will need to transition to 10-digit dialing.
There will be a new dialing procedure for areas of the country that use 7-digit dialing and 988 is used as the first three numbers in seven-digit phone numbers. To complete all local calls, consumers will need to dial their area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within area codes that are currently dialed with seven digits and have 988 as the first three digits.
Anyone with a telephone number in certain areas codes will need to change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.
During the transition to 988, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats. Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net, or texting 838255.