CHA News

National Suicide Hotline Bill Signed into Law

For behavioral health directors

This post has been archived and contains information that may be out of date.

On Oct. 17, President Trump signed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act into law, designating 988 as the nationwide three-digit phone number to connect people experiencing mental health crises to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  

In July, the Federal Communications Commission designated 988 for this purpose, requiring telecommunications carriers and one-way Voice over Internet Protocol service providers to direct 988 calls to (800) 273-TALK (8255) by July 16, 2022. Under the bill, the Department of Health and Human Services must also develop a strategy to provide access to competent, specialized services for high-risk populations such as LGBTQ+ youth, minorities, and individuals in rural communities. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a network of 163 crisis centers that last year answered more than 2.2 million calls and 100,000 online chats.