The Federal Communications Commission designating a three-digit phone number ― 998 ― as the country’s nationwide hotline on Thursday.
The five-member commission’s decision is now up for public comment before it can be formally implemented. The impetus behind the proposal was to establish a hotline that was easy to remember and quick to dial.
“988 has an echo of the 911 number we all know as an emergency number,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said during the commission’s open meeting on Thursday. “And we believe that this three-digit number dedicated for this purpose will help ease access to crisis services, it will reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health conditions, and ultimately it will save lives.”