The FCC said Tuesday it will vote next month to designate 988 as the new three-digit U.S. nationwide number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
In a notice, the federal regulator overseeing U.S. internet and phone providers said it will vote on the proposal on July 16 to make the number change official. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the three-digit number, if passed, “will save lives.”
Once approved, U.S. phone companies — including internet calling providers — will have two years to transition 988 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Even after the transition, callers will still be able to reach the hotline through its regular phone number.
Lawmakers and advocates have spent years advocating to shorten the hotline’s 10-digit phone number to