FCC proposes 3-digit national mental health hotline

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-One of the most well known emergency numbers is only 3 digits. If someone needs the police or an ambulance they dial 911. If the emergency is mental health related, there could soon be a national 3 digit number for that too.

The Federal Communications Commission wants to launch a three digit hotline number for those who are feeling suicidal or experiencing some other sort of mental health crisis.

There is currently a 10 digit national suicide number, which mental health professionals worry is difficult to remember during a crisis.

According to the FCC, in 2018 the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline answered more than 2 million calls.

The Executive Director at Hope Harbor is supportive of the proposal.

“We have 3 digit numbers for lots of things in the state. You can call 811, I think that’s where to dig. There’s 511, you can find out about traffic conditions. So things that are just very simple for individuals to remember, especially when there’s that need,” said Melissa Whitley.

The FCC is recommending the new hotline number be 988. If you need help dealing with thoughts of suicide or other mental health concerns, the current number to call is 1-800-273-talk.

Hope Harbor has their own crisis line as well, that number is 1-800-656-hope.