988 to Become The 911 for Suicide Prevention
With what appears to be garnering pretty universal support, according to WMTW and the AP, federal regulators are set to make a major change to the number that is currently used for suicide prevention.
For years, the suicide hotline has been 800-273-8255 (TALK), but now the FCC and federal regulators will be changing that. According to national statistics there has been a 30% increase in suicides in the last 2 decades alone. Couple that with the fact that about 20 veterans are committing suicide EACH day, and we have a national crisis on our hands.
Right now when a person calls the hotline, its routed to 1 of 163 crisis centers that combined handled 2.2 million calls last year. While there is some speculation that operation costs will go up around $50 million a year nationally, experts believe that will be offset by the savings from people calling 988 instead of 911 when experiencing a mental health crisis.
Although 988 won't have texting, there are other texting services available. Lines for Life offers a text service by texting 273TALK to 839863.