Call or Text New 3-Digit Emergency Suicide Prevention Line Beginning July 2022
A new 3-digit emergency number has been a work in progress for a few years now and it is finally set to debut across the United States next month.
In A Medical Emergency
In an emergency situation, when the brain kicks into survival mode, a 10-digit string of numbers to contact law enforcement or fire crews may not be at the top of your mind. That's what has made 911 so helpful. You don't have to remember phone numbers for multiple agencies, or even know a phone number at all thanks to that three-digit number.
911 = Help
Growing up we learned that 911 is the number to call if we find ourselves in a situation that requires emergency services. There is no doubt that those three numbers have saved innumerable lives. Now, there is a new number that could save even more.
For those battling depression and suicidal thoughts, when the despair and darkness have settled in, picking up a phone can seem daunting, if not downright impossible. Fortunately, there are resources available at the other end of the phone line.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been around for many years, dating back to 2005, and those struggling with mental health challenges can call anytime day or night, 1-800-273-8255. However, now there is an even easier number to remember.
By Order of the FCC
On July 16, 2020, the FCC ruled that 988 would become the new Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line number and ordered that 988 be activated for all telecommunication subscribers within two years. In 2021, the FCC ordered that all cellular customers be able to access 988 via text as well.
Call or Text 988 Beginning July 16, 2022
Beginning July 16, 2022, 988 will be operational. As an emergency phone number, you can call or text 988 and you will be redirected to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, just by utilizing those three digits, 988.
Crisis Counselors Needed Across the Country
As the 988 emergency line goes into effect across the country, the Suicide Prevention Hotline is looking for crisis counselors to pick up those calls. According to SAMHSA,
988 centers are looking for empathetic volunteers, employees, and interns to serve as crisis counselors answering phone, chats and texts, as well as managers with advanced degrees.
...made up of over 200 centers answering calls, chats, and texts from people in crisis. These centers are looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees. You will receive training, so if you are a caring person who wants to help those in crisis, apply today.
To learn how you can become a crisis counselor, visit SAMHSA.gov.
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