How often do you hear or see, “If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or if it is a true emergency call 911,” on the news or in the media? If you were in a crisis, would you remember that number? As you may be aware, a new suicide hotline number was recently introduced and is soon to be up for public comment.
This started in 2018 when the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act was enacted. One thing that the Act required was for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a study to examine the feasibility of creating a simple, easy to remember, three-digit number for suicide prevention, much like the emergency services number, 911. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 10-digits long.
This August, the FCC completed their report and sent it to Congress. Through their analysis, the FCC recommended designating 988 as the suicide hotline number. In addition to being easier to remember, new this number would route people to their local crisis lines if applicable.
This change would not require congressional or presidential approval. The FCC is expected to issue a public notice that it is considering formally adopting the 988 number for the suicide hotline. The proposal will be subject to a period of public comment and a final vote among the FCC’s commissioners before it can go into effect.
InSight, along with many others in the mental health field, signed on to show their support for implementing 988 as the official National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
By shortening the current 10-digit suicide hotline number to three-digits, the hope is that it will be easier for people to remember and will facilitate access to live-saving resources when people need them the most.
InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has over two decades of telepsychiatry experience and serves hundreds of organizations across the country with its on-demand, scheduled services and Inpathy divisions. InSight is uniquely positioned to offer scalable telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care. InSight has a diverse team of psychiatry providers, a robust internal infrastructure and a history of adapting its programs to fit the needs of a variety of different settings and populations. InSight has led the growth of the telepsychiatry industry and remains an industry thought leader and advocate. To learn more about telepsychiatry and how it can benefit you or your organization, visit www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.
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