Trump signs law designating 9-8-8 as universal number for national suicide hotline starting in 2022

  • The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which passed the House of Representatives last month after approval from the Senate and the Federal Communications Commission, will allow individuals seeking help to dial the three-digit number and be directed to the hotline.
  • The bill authorizes states to collect fees aimed at ensuring local crisis centers will be able to support increased volume, and it also directs government health agencies to submit a report to Congress detailing strategies to improve support services for LGBTQ youth, minorities and individuals in rural counties, who are at higher risk for suicide.
  • In 2018, Congress had passed and Trump signed into law the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act, which directed the FCC to study the use of a three-digit dialing code for the hotline.
  • And while the push for a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been happening for years, news of Trump signing it into law comes as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened mental health issues across the country.

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