At a recent meeting, the Federal Communications Commission’s five leaders unanimously voted to finalize 988 as the three-digit number Americans can dial to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Callers currently reach the 24/7 national hotline by phoning the 10-digit number: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Even after 988 becomes active in July 2022, callers will still be able to reach the hotline through the original 10-digit number.

Advocates believe the new number will save more lives but critics voiced concern over the lifeline’s lack of a texting service. The lifeline does have a chat portal on its website and the FCC said it could revisit the issue if the lifeline develops a text option.

Several other text options are available, including the Veterans Crisis Line (838255) and the nonprofit Crisis Text Line (741741).

More details including next steps: