New Three-Digit Suicide Prevention Hotline Number in the Works
Calling the suicide prevention hotline in the United States will soon be as simple as dialing 911.
On Thursday, December 12th, 2019, formal rule-making has officially began to implement a new three-digit number for the suicide prevention hotline. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255), but congressional statute in 2018 began the process to make it easier for people suffering to contact the hotline for emergency help.
“The three-digit number is really going to be a breakthrough in terms of reaching people in a crisis,” said Dwight Holton, CEO of Lines for Life, a suicide prevention nonprofit organization. “No one is embarrassed to call 911 for a fire or an emergency. No one should be embarrassed to call 988 for a mental health emergency [either]."
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, more than 47,000 Americans killed themselves in 2017. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and it is even referred to as a public health emergency.
If we recognize suicide for the national problem that it is, then change can be done. People can be saved. And suicide can be prevented. For those suffering, please pick up your phone and dial 800-273-TALK (8255), or 988 when it is ready, to get help immediately. For friends and family of those suffering, learn how to better care and help your loved ones.
Let us work together to heal this broken world.