SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Federal Communications Commission is pushing to make a three-digit code as the dedicated suicide prevention hotline phone number.
In a report released on Wednesday, the FCC outlined their push to designate “988” as the national suicide prevention and mental health hotline.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai cited how suicide rates have risen in almost every state from 1999-2016 as the reason for the push. He also cited how suicide rates are disproportionately higher for at-risk groups like veterans and LGBTQ youth.
This initiative is important because (1) @CDCgov reports suicide rates rose in 49/50 states from 1999-2016 and (2) rates are higher for at-risk groups like #Veterans and #LGBTQ youth. I support this work and am grateful to @RepChrisStewart and others for leading on this issue. pic.twitter.com/YOSaWy2auc
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) August 15, 2019
At the moment, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 10-digits: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The FCC says, just last year, the hotline got about 2.2 million calls.
The FCC commissioners will be voting on the recommendation after a period of comment.