3-digit phone number approved for suicide prevention hotline

WWNY 3-digit phone number approved for suicide prevention hotline

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The FCC has approved the number 988 as a way to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Starting in the summer of 2022, people in suicidal crisis who are seeking help will be able to dial 988 to speak with a trained counselor.

North country advocates believe the three-digit number will save more lives, saying that it has the echoes of the emergency number 911.

"This sends a very strong message that there is nothing shameful about reaching out in a time of crisis. Also, to have a three digit number, you'll be able to remember it and access it much quicker than the 1-800 number currently," said Jefferson County Mental Health Services Coordinator Alicia Ruperd.

Last year there were 24 suicides in Jefferson County. To date, there have been 3 in 2020.

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