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FCC considers making an easier suicide prevention hotline number

Posted at 10:17 AM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 13:22:49-04

We have 9-1-1 for emergencies. Now we're closer to having an easier number to remember for suicide prevention. The Federal Communications Commission chairman says he'll start the process to make 9-8-8 the 3-digit number for a mental health crisis.

Right now the National Suicide Prevention lifeline uses a 10-digit number: 800-273-TALK.

The FCC says it's received overwhelming support for that 3-digit number.

"It could be that life splitting. Second that if you just have someone to pick up on the other end to be a welcoming voice I think that's a good opportunity," said Jewell Gooding, Mental Health America of Georgia executive director.

The CDC says suicide rates have been going up across the country over the past two decades. The newest numbers show more than 47,000 Americans died by suicide in 2017.

Until this 3-digit number is ready, you can call 800-273-TALK at any time of day.