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Three-digit dialing, texting for suicide prevention take effect July 16

On July 16 three-digit dialing to reach the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line will officially take effect. Those who need help will be able to dial or text 988 to reach a suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselor. Calls and texts to 988 will be directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Veterans then press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line. 

To support the transition to 988 dialing, telecom service providers, including many NTCA members, were required to implement 10-digit dialing in area codes where 988 is used as the first three numbers in seven-digit phone numbers. On and after July 15, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform the caller that the call cannot be completed as dialed. 

A complete listing of affected area codes and resource materials is available from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator. The 1-800-273-TALK number will continue to be operational after July 16 and the implementation of three-digit dialing. 

Learn more and get involved: The FCC provides a Fact Sheet about what the transition to 10-digit dialing means for consumers, along with links to online chats and the Veteran’s Crisis Line. Check it out and share with your community members before the transition takes effect.

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