State: 988 to be the number nationally for Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(State press release) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in consultation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the North American Numbering Council has recommended the use 988 as the 3-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The FCC adopted rules in 2020 designating 988 for US citizens in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors in their respective communities. With a target completion date of mid-2022, the effort will result in telephone service providers directing all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide and Prevention Lifeline.

“This is a worthwhile effort by the FCC,” said Tennessee Public Utility Commission Chairman Kenneth C. Hill. “Suicide has ranked among the top-ten of the leading causes of death in the United States, and any steps that can be taken to connect Tennessee residents in crisis to intervention service organizations will be tremendously helpful.”

Americans who need help today can find it by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- 8255 (1-800-273-TALK) or through online chats. Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, as well as by chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net or texting 838255.

“In the same way that 911 is an easy-to-remember number for emergency service, 988 will be the counter-part for suicide prevention and mental health crisis services to make it easier for those who may need this support,” said Hill.

In Tennessee Area Code news: permissive 10-digit dialing begins on April 24, 2021, and mandatory 10-digit dialing commences on October 24, 2021 for 731 and 865 area codes. Calls made within these two regions will require the use of each area’s area code to complete calls within their respective regions.

For more information, visit https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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