FCC Designates 988 as a Nationwide Mental Health Crisis and Suicide Prevention Number

Jul 16, 2020

Today, NAMI thanks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for formally designating 988 as a nationwide 3-digit number for mental health crisis and suicide prevention services. The implementation plan approved by the FCC establishes a two-year timeline to make 988 operational nationwide (by July 16, 2022), with calls routing through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“Once fully implemented, 988 will save lives and is a critical component to ensuring people in crisis are diverted from involvement in the criminal justice system and connected to appropriate services and supports,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr, NAMI CEO. “The FCC has done it’s part. Now, it’s time for the House to do theirs.”
NAMI appreciates the FCC’s leadership in adopting 988 as the universal mental health crisis service number. The two-year timeframe outlined in the FCC’s implementation plan allows telecom providers sufficient time to address technical issues and ensure a smooth nationwide implementation.
NAMI is now focused on the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020. In May, the Senate unanimously passed S. 2661, which provides a way to fund the 988 infrastructure and crisis response services, and is essential for 988’s success.
You can help. NAMI encourages people to contact their U.S. Representative at https://nami.quorum.us/campaign/26570/.
Important Note: 988 is not currently active. If you are experiencing a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741 or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).