988 suicide phone hotline getting $282M to ease July launch | www.WDIO.com

988 suicide phone hotline getting $282M to ease July launch

988 suicide phone hotline getting $282M to ease July launch Photo: WDIO

RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Created: December 20, 2021 10:57 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — People in crisis and those trying to help them will have a new three-digit phone number, 988, to reach the national suicide prevention network starting in July. Federal health officials announced Monday more than $280 million to smooth the transition from the current 10-digit number, 800-273-8255.

Three-digit dialing to reach suicide hotline counselors has been a goal for mental health advocates, lawmakers in Congress and the Federal Communications Commission.

The Biden administration says it wants to deliver an on-schedule launch this summer.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says remembering a three-digit number “beats a ten-digit number any day,” particularly in a crisis.

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RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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