New ‘988’ Suicide Prevention Hotline Will Include Texting Option to Make it Easier

Last week the US agency in charge of telecommunications adopted rules to expand access to the suicide prevention hotline by establishing the ability to text, in addition to calling.

Last year, the FCC established 988 as the new, nationwide, easy-to-remember 3-digit phone number for Americans to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.

As soon as next summer, people will be able to call—or—text 988 for instant access to the emergency service.

The rules require phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.

During the transition to 988, if you need help you need to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available today through online chats.