ON YOUR SIDE: New 3 digit Suicide Prevention number will mean changes for local call dialing

The new 988 number means dialing 10 or 11 digits even within own area code
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - You may soon need to dial a few extra digits when making a phone call, even if you’re dialing a local number.

The reason is the FCC has adopted 988 as a new 3-digit number to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline beginning July 16, 2022, but the change begins Saturday in certain area codes.

In Missouri, the area codes are 417, 816, 314 and 660.

In Arkansas it includes area code 501.

Beginning Saturday, you’ll need to start using the area code in these locations, even if making a local call on a cell phone. For landline phones, you’ll need to dial 1 plus the area code and number. If you forget, for now, the call will still go through. But beginning October 24, you’ll need to dial the 10-digit number, or 11-digit number on landline phones, or the call may not be completed.

Both wireless and landline customers can reach the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. For now, only cellular customers can dial 988 to reach the lifeline. Beginning July 16, 2022. Landline customers will also be able to dial 988 to reach the Lifeline.

With this upcoming change, you may need to update things like medical monitoring devices, fire and burglar alarm systems, contact lists and any other numbers that were normally dialed using 7 digits.

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