FCC Proposes Three-Digit National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Seen as easier to remember. Advocates say it will save countless lives.
Everyone knows to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, right? What if getting help was just that easy for someone who is thinking about committing suicide?
It could become that simple if the Federal Communications Commission follows through on its recommendation, designating 9-8-8 as a national suicide prevention hotline number
Having an easy to remember, three-digit suicide hotline could make it easier for someone who's feeling suicidal to make that call.
Studies have shown that being able to talk to someone who cares really works when someone is feeling suicidal. "It's one of the most basic human realities," Lifeline Director John Draper told Science Magazine . Draper is a counseling psychologist with Vibrant Emotional Health, the New York City nonprofit that administers the hotline for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center .
"Helping people feel understood and cared about saves lives."
In fact, a recent study said calls with a crisis counselor, like the ones on Lifeline, are cutting suicides among at risk patients by three-quarters.
- 47,000+ people died by suicide in the United States in 2017
- The suicide rate in the United States has increased 33% since 1999.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
Here are three easy ways for you to get involved right away:
- Click here to contact the Federal Communications Commission and tell them you support the idea of a three-digit 9-8-8 national suicide hotline.
- Click here to find contact information for your Representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, tell them that you support the bill and urge them to lobby the FCC to make it reality.
- In Pennsylvania, a series of listening tours on the issue of suicide prevention is starting up in September. Click here read our previous story how to attend one and tell your story about how suicide has affected you or your family.
Studies show talking with a trained counselor cuts suicides among at-risk people by three-quarters.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).