Congress Advances Bill to Designate Three-Digit Mental Health Crisis Line
On Tuesday, Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020, which bill establishes 9-8-8 as an easy-to-remember, three-digit phone number to connect people in crisis to the National Suicide Hotline to receive life-saving resources. The three-digit number will replace the current 10-digit number for the Hotline and be available in all geographic locations across the country.
The bill was led by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Chris Stewart (R-UT). Upon passage, Moulton remarked, “When your house is on fire, you can get help by calling 9-1-1. A year-and-a-half ago, we set a goal to make it just as easy to get help in a mental health emergency. Today we finished the job and made 988 the national number for mental health emergencies.”
The bill awaits President Trump’s signature, and the new number will go into effect a year after enactment.