Urges Congress to Act
WASHINGTON (JULY 16, 2020) – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to officially move forward on designating “988” as the new phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Robert Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, released the following statement about the vote:
“We applaud the FCC Commissioners for this unanimous vote to designate the 988 number and move forward on implementation. We agree with the initial conclusion of the FCC’s Report to Congress: that a universal, easy-to-remember, 3-digit phone number to connect people in crisis with life-saving resources is vital. We appreciate the work of the Commissioners and FCC staff to bring our mental health and suicide prevention crisis response system into the 21st century.
Along with other mental health organizations, we continue to urge Congress to pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act as soon as possible, especially the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD-05). We need Congress to act so we have the funding, support, and training for those on the front lines of our national suicide response network. The lives of millions of Americans depend on it.
It is crucial that the necessary technological upgrades and funding needs are met by July 2022 when the 988 number becomes operational across the country. In the meantime, we urge anyone in crisis to continue to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).”
For guidelines on how to report safely on suicide: https://afsp.org/journalists/.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Contact: Alexis O’Brien, 347-826-3577, [email protected]