FCC approves 9-8-8 as new suicide hotline number

Local News

WASHINGTON- The Federal Communications Commission has approved a plan to change the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

9-8-8 is the new number people will call, similar to 9-1-1. But, the change must pass Congress first.

“This hotline will be critical to make sure every american has access to mental health support,” said Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. “With a number that’s easy to remember in a time of crisis.”

Sen. Cory Gardner introduced a bill in Congress to approve this change after the FCC’s announcement.

“Congress needs to move forward with my bipartisan bill with Sen. Tammy Baldwin” said Gardner. “We’re not there yet, but Congress is moving forward.”

To learn more about the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, we visited Mind Springs Health in Grand Junction. Mind Springs is a major mental health care provider in the Grand Valley.

One of the directors at Mind Springs says suicide prevention hotlines can be the important first step in getting people who are struggling the care they need. She says having a shorter number will make a huge difference.

“When you’re in the middle of a crisis it’s hard to remember or look up a full number let alone a 1-800 number,” said Michelle Hoy, one of Mind Spring’s executive vice presidents.

The current National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

Mind Springs also has a local 24/7 crisis line to speak to a counselor: 1-800-207-4004.

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