Much like 9-1-1 is used for emergencies, 9-8-8 may be the new suicide prevention hotline number after the FCC votes later this month.
The Federal Communications Commission said phone service providers will have until July 2022 to implement the new number if the measure is approved.
If it is approved, those in dire circumstances will be able to dial 9-8-8 to seek help. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-8255, which routes calls to about 170 crisis centers.
According to reports, that 10-digit number will remain in place, but having a shorter number will make it easier for people to call.
This action follows an increase in suicide rates across the states throughout the past two decades. The pandemic has only added to the strain on the nation’s mental health and experts have been concerned about its impact on people’s depression and anxiety.