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The FCC wants your thoughts on improving the shorter National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number

The Federal Communications Fee has decided to look into letting folks textual content the upcoming shortened National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number in a bid to extend accessibility and use of the service by those that want it most (via Politico reporter John Hendel). Final Might, the FCC permitted the creation of a brand new quick code, 988, that may act as an easier-to-remember cellphone number for the lifeline.

Please observe that calling 988 won’t join you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline till July sixteenth, 2022.

It’s value noting that right now’s approval is just a first step and doesn’t imply that folks will, for positive, have the ability to textual content the 988 number when it goes dwell in July 2022. Nevertheless, it does imply that the FCC can be trying into making it a requirement for cellphone suppliers, and will probably be accepting public remark on whether or not texting needs to be allowed. According to its statement, the FCC would additionally like public remark on the implementation particulars earlier than it begins drawing up precise guidelines, like what sorts of issues folks ought to have the ability to textual content the lifeline, what occurs if a message bounces again, and so forth.

To offer a remark, you’ll be able to go to the FCC’s express comment page. The continuing is 18-336.

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Whereas with the ability to contact the lifeline by way of cellphone or SMS with an simply memorable number is undoubtedly a very good factor, it’s additionally value noting that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline additionally has a chat function on its website. The present hotline added the potential to just accept textual content messages at 1-800-273-8255 in August 2020, however 988 is a better number to recollect, particularly throughout occasions of disaster.

The proposal so as to add texting assist to 988 wasn’t the solely motion the FCC took right now to attempt to enhance public security. It additionally introduced that it could be trying into rising the reliability of the 911 emergency companies community.

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