Suicide Prevention Hotline
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, the last thing you want to do is search high and low for the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The current number, 1-800-273-8255, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?
Fortunately, the Federal Communications Commission has just approved a three digit number for the federally backed hotline. The new number is 9-8-8 and has just been officially announced.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement saying, “There is a suicide epidemic in this country and it is disproportionately affecting at-risk populations, including our Veterans and LGBTQ youth. Crisis call centers have been shown to save lives”. This new 3 digit number will undoubtedly make it easier to access the critical suicide prevention and mental health services that these call centers provide.
The statistics regarding suicide are sobering. Consider the following:
- Every 28 seconds, someone attempts suicide.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-24.
- Male suicide rates are almost 3x that of females.
- 40% of those identifying as transgender have attempted suicide in their lifetime.
- Over the past 20 years, suicide rates have been on the rise in every state in the U.S. except Nevada.
The hope is that by making the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline system more user friendly and accessible, thousands of lives can be saved by helping people get the help they need, when they need it the most.