Dec 11, 2019

This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to designate 9-8-8 as the 3-digit number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.

NAMI applauds Chairman Ajit Pai and the FCC for their leadership on this issue and strongly supports the creation of a national 3-digit number as an essential part of a network of services and supports for people experiencing a mental health crisis. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK, and other crisis lines are an essential link in that network. By creating a simple, easy-to-remember 3-digit number, NAMI believes it will improve access to life-saving resources. 

As an alliance of over 640 state and local organizations, NAMI advocates to improve access to community-based mental health treatment for people experiencing mental health crises. The creation of a 3-digit number 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. 

“If you are in a car accident, you don’t have to remember a 10-digit number to get immediate help – a mental health emergency should be no different,” said Angela Kimball, acting CEO of NAMI. “That’s why NAMI has added its voice to advocate for a creation of a nationwide ‘9-8-8’ number which could mean the difference between life and death by diverting people from the criminal justice system and instead get them the right care when they need it most.” 

Learn more about our work with Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), education about Navigating a Mental Health Crisis, and our advocacy to establish ‘9-8-8’

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).