Insights & Resources2 min read

988 Designated as National Suicide Prevention Hotline

In July 2020, 988 was designated as a number to call and connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.

Fiona McDonnell
FCC designates 9-8-8 for Americans in crisis.
Suicide claimed the lives of over 48,000 Americans in 2018, and it was the 10th leading cause of death in the country during that year. It is widely accepted that Suicide Prevention is a critical service that is required to help people in times of need.

A new hotline for suicide prevention

In July 2020, the FCC adopted rules designating 9-8-8 as a number for Americans in crisis to call to connect them with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. On October 17, 2020, President Trump signed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 into law. Under the new legislation, all calls made to 9-8-8 will automatically be directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which will be operational before, during and after the implementation of 9-8-8 as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Switching to the easy-to-remember 9-8-8 number will make it easier for Americans in crisis to access the assistance they need and will help to decrease the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues. The adoption of the new rules reflects a commitment to delivering Americans necessary intervention services.


Providers have until July 16, 2022 to transition to 9-8-8, giving companies time to make necessary network changes. It also gives the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline time to prepare for a likely increase in the volume of calls to the service, following the switch.
Telnyx was happy to serve on the North American Numbering Council’s (NANC) Numbering Administration Oversight Working Group (NAOWG) which worked to find the best 3-digit code for the suicide hotline. We’ve also ensured that 9-8-8 will be live on our network by the 2022 date.
Currently, Americans who need help can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a network of ~170 local and state-funded crises centers. The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress through calling 1-800-273-8255.
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