The FCC has submitted a proposal to Congress to designate 988 as the new phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
In a report, the FCC said shortening the number for the hotline "would likely make it easier for Americans in crisis to access potentially life-saving resources." The current number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
In a tweet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote, "This initiative is important because (1) [the CDC] reports suicide rates rose in 49/50 states from 1999-2016 and (2) rates are higher for at-risk groups like #Veterans and #LGBTQ youth."
In 2018, Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act, that required the FCC to conduct a study on the viability of creating a three-digit hotline number.