Getting help when you’re suicidal may be as easy as dialing “988” soon.
The FCC is getting closer to making it a reality thanks to a unanimous vote yesterday. That makes the proposal open for public comment and new rulemaking.
The FCC chairman says of the 988 designation, "988 has an echo of the 911 number we all know as an emergency number. And we believe that this three-digit number dedicated for this purpose will help ease access to crisis services, it will reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health conditions, and ultimately it will save lives."
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. America's suicide rates are at the highest level since World War II, with an increase of 33% from 1999 to 2017 alone, according to the CDC.
To get help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There is also a crisis text line. For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.