New Suicide Prevention Hotline Number 988 Goes Live

For anyone who has complained that they now have to dial the area code even for local numbers, you know your frustration is worth it.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number goes live nationwide tomorrow.

Similar to the National Universal Emergency Number (911), the new National Suicide Prevention Hotline number (988) is much easier to remember.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), there were nearly 46,000 suicides in the United States in 2020 (the most recent year for which statistics are available).

In Louisiana, our suicide rate is higher than the national average. We rank 32nd among all United States with a suicide rate of 13.78 per 100,000 Louisiana residents per year (2020 data).

Why do we now have to dial the area code before dialing someone’s phone number?

The 988 area code is now the new number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.



So if someone you want to call in Lafayette has the phone number 988-xxxx and you dial it without the 337 area code, the phone system now recognizes 988 as if you were trying to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

When you dial 337-988-xxxx, the phone system recognizes that you are trying to call the person you are trying to reach.

Why are we telling you all this?

It’s simple, we want you to know who to call if you ever need help.

Remember the number: 988.

The “old” suicide prevention hotline number will continue to work (1-800-273-8255), but the new number will be much easier to remember and dial for those who need it.

Suicide is preventable, although there is no single true way to prevent it. Suicide prevention professionals say that suicide prevention can be as diverse as the person(s) contemplating suicide, but there are 3 key things that can be done to help.

1. Ask. If you think someone might commit suicide, ask them directly, “Are you contemplating suicide?” Don’t be afraid to do this, it shows that you care and is actually reducing the risk because it shows that someone is willing to talk about it. …
2. Listen and stay. …
3. Get help. – via

Talk to your friends as there are many people who are not “OK” in today’s climate and remember the number: 988

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