Story at a glance

  • The Federal Communications Commission voted to include a texting option for a new suicide hotline, 988, set to go live next summer.
  • Advocates have pushed for a more accessible version of the existing 1-800-273-8255, and now providers will be required to support messaging to the new number beginning July 16.
  • Right now, people in need can text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741) or may access an online chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to include a texting option for a new suicide hotline, 988, set to go live next summer. 

Advocates have pushed for a more accessible version of the existing 1-800-273-8255, and now providers will be required to support messaging to the number beginning July 16, ABC News reported. Currently, the three-digit number is set up only to support calls. 

“The bottom line is that it shouldn't matter if you make a voice call or send a text message because we should connect people in crisis to the resources they need no matter how they communicate," FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said during an open meeting, per CNN

Right now, people in need can text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741) or may access an online chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.

"We know that not everyone may be able to make a phone call or be comfortable making a phone call. The ability to text 988 makes it easier for more people to easily access help during a mental health crisis," interim director of government relations, policy & advocacy for National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Hannah Wesolowski  told ABC. 

"We applaud the FCC’s decision to require telecommunication providers to support text messaging to 988," Wesolowski said. "This option will support at-risk communities, including youth and young adults, marginalized and underserved populations, and individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or have speech disabilities."


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

SITTING MORE AND LESS MOVEMENT LINKED TO SPIKE IN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY SYMPTOMS

‘AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIES’ ASSOCIATED WITH HIGHER SENSE OF PURPOSE IN LIFE

FOUNDER OF THE AMERICAN HAPPINESS PROJECT EXPLAINS 3 EASY STEPS TO BEGIN EACH DAY

WHY YOUR DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS IS PROBABLY MAKING YOU UNHAPPY

HARVARD’S HAPPINESS EXPERT SHARES THE TWO SECRETS TO BEING HAPPY

Published on Nov 18, 2021