988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Callers in the U.S. can now reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988. This change was implemented in July 2022 and replaced the previous hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

You can read the FCC’s order adopting 988.

Changes to Dialing

10-digit dialing in Eastern Washington

For 988 to work, the FCC required Washington to implement 10-digit dialing for the 509 area code in Eastern Washington. The rest of Washington already used 10-digit dialing.

Implementation dates:

  • April 24, 2021: Anyone calling to or from 509 may start using the area code with dialing (area code + phone number).
  • Oct. 24, 2021: Service providers must implement mandatory 10-digit dialing in the 509 area code.
  • July 16, 2022: Dialing 988 will connect you directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

No service changes

10-digit dialing did not change:

  • Your telephone number or area code.
  • The price of a call.
  • Coverage areas.
  • Rates and services.
  • Whether a call is local or long-distance.
  • Existing three-digit services such as 911, 711, and 211.
  • The existing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) number.

Safety and security equipment

Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing. Many systems already use 10-digit dialing, but some older equipment may still use seven-digitsContact your medical alert or security provider if you are unsure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to 10-digit (or 1+10-digit) local dialing.

Contact your medical alert or security provider if you are unsure if your equipment must be reprogrammed.

Examples include:

  • life safety systems or medical monitoring devices,
  • PBXs,
  • fax machines,
  • Internet dial-up numbers,
  • fire or burglar alarms and security systems or gates,
  • speed dialers,
  • mobile or other wireless phone contact lists,
  • call forward settings, and
  • voicemail services and other similar functions.

Service providers and companies with 509 phone numbers

Any service provider and company with a 509 area code should update all of their materials to include the three-digit area code, such as its:

  • company website,
  • stationary and letterhead,
  • advertising materials,
  • checks,
  • contact information,
  • I.D. tags and cards; and
  • business cards.

Outreach toolkit

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