Let’s hope this gets approved quickly, and makes it possible to have an easy to remember number for anyone to reach out during a crisis quickly. The need has already been demonstrated with the current number:
Once implemented, people will just need to dial 988 to seek help. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are routed to one of 163 crisis centers, where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year.
Personally, i can’t wait for it to be as easy to remember as 911, or 411. If we can have a number that can make it easier for someone either needing help, or wanting to assist someone in need with calling, we might just save a few more of those folks, and we might even make a little dent in the stigma associated to mental health and suicide if there’s a number that reminds us all of how wide-spread those are.
In the mean time, keep an eye on the FCC and keep asking your representatives about it.