"988" Proposed as National Suicide Hotline

Updated: Jan 17

FCC Chairman Pai Issues Press Release on Proposal

January 15, 2020 -UPDATE - WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU ANNOUNCES DEADLINES FOR COMMENTS ON 3-DIGIT SUICIDE PREVENTION AND MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS HOTLINE PROPOSAL WC Docket No. 18-336 Comment Date: February 14, 2020 Reply Comment Date: March 16, 2020

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-79A1.pdf


November 19, 2019 Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today proposed to begin a rulemaking to establish 988 as a new, nationwide, three-digit phone number for a suicide prevention and mental health hotline. The Commission will vote on this proposal at its December 12 public meeting. “


[added 12/16/19 - FCC Proposed Order]


The suicide rate in the United States is at its highest level since World War II, and designating 988 as the suicide prevention and mental health hotline would be a major boost for our nation’s suicide prevention efforts,” said Chairman Pai at an event today with federal agency partners and national leaders in preventing suicide and helping at-risk communities. “When it comes to saving lives, time is of the essence, and we believe that 988 can be activated more quickly than other possible three-digit codes. In addition, 988 has an echo of the 911 number we all know as an emergency number. Awareness of this resource—including how memorable the number is—should make a real difference in saving lives.”


The Chairman’s proposal would designate 988 as the national 3-digit code. It would also require that all phone companies transmit all calls to 988 to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which today provides suicide prevention assistance at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) and through online chats. The Lifeline is a national network of 163 crisis centers that is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Calls to the Lifeline are routed from anywhere in the United States to the closest certified crisis center. In 2018, trained Lifeline counselors answered over 2.2 million calls and over 100,000 online chats.


Links to the NPRM:

URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-proposes-988-suicide-prevention-mental-health-hotline-0

Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-19-128A1.docx

PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-19-128A1.pdf

Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-19-128A1.txt

Links to the Press Release:

Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-361337A1.docx

PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-361337A1.pdf

Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-361337A1.txt

Links to the Public Notice Announcing Comment Dates:

URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/suicide-prevention-mental-health-hotline-comment-deadlines

Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-79A1.docx

PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-79A1.pdf

Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-79A1.txt


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