How a Proposed Three-Digit Suicide Hotline Could Help Prevention Efforts

October 04, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A proposal for a three-digit suicide hotline could help advance prevention efforts. Based on a law passed in 2018, the Federal Communications Commission has worked with other federal agencies to analyze the effectiveness of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They also assessed the feasibility of replacing the Lifeline’s current 10-digit number with a 3-digit dialing code. In August, the commission released a report recommending Congress designate 988 as a national crisis hotline number. A three-digit code would be easier for people to remember, like “a 911 for the brain,” said RI International CEO David Covington. While many mental health experts are in favor of the proposal, they say more funding is also needed to help hotline service providers meet demand.

Spark Extra! Read more about transforming crisis services.