Federal regulators announced Thursday a new three-digit number for the suicide prevention hotline that will make getting emergency mental health aid as easy as calling 911.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has used the 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Counselors answered more than 2.2 million calls last year at one of 163 crisis centers, but officials think the new number will make it easier for those in need to call for help.
Dwight Holton, CEO of the non-profit suicide prevent organization Lines for Life, said, “The three-digit number is really going to be a breakthrough in terms of reaching people in crisis. No one is embarrassed to call 911 for a fire or an emergency. No one should be embarrassed to call 988 for a mental health emergency.”