The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022.
Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.
In order for 988 to work in your area code, mandatory 10-digit local dialing will be implemented. Starting on January 19, 2024, you will need to dial the area code for all local calls.
To complete all local calls, you will now need to dial area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.
Anyone with a telephone number from your area code will need to make a change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.
Beginning January 19, 2024, you must dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. You must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number. Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
In addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers.
Some examples are life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and other similar functions.
Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.