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Posted on: October 15, 2021

Mandatory 10-Digit Dialing Effective 10/24/2021 for use of National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE IMAGE

Mandatory 10-Digit dialing effective 10/24/2021 in 7 area codes across Texas are affected as well as area codes in 34 other states and Guam.

Erath County and surrounding counties are included.

In Texas, if you are in the 254, 361, 409, 806, 830, 915 and 940 you MUST transition from the seven-digit to 10-digit dialing, area code + phone number.

When did this start?

On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted an Order (FCC 20-100) approving the designation of 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, requiring all telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and

one-way VoIP providers (covered providers) to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) starting July 16, 2022.

Timeline for Transition to 10-Digit Dialing:

Beginning April 24, 2021, to begin to become accustomed to 10-digit dialing, consumers should begin dialing 10 digits (3-digit area code + 7-digit telephone number) for all local calls. If they forget and dial just 7 digits, their call will still be completed.

Beginning October 24, 2021, consumers must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. Consumers must

hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

What do I do now?

Immediately all calls should be placed by dialing all 10-digits – Area Code + phone number. 


Beginning October 24, 2021, if you have a number in one of these area codes, you must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) or 1+10 digits (1+area code + telephone number depending on dialing plan) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven-digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code with the seven-digit telephone number.

In addition to changing your dialing patterns, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete local calls using only seven-digit numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples are:

• life safety systems or medical monitoring devices 

• PBXs • fax machines • Internet dial-up numbers
• fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
• speed dialers • mobile or other wireless phone contact lists
• call forwarding settings
• voicemail services and other similar functions

Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

What will stay the same?? 


• Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change
• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change
• What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed
• You will continue to dial 1+ the area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls
• You will continue to dial a prefix (such as “9”) when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (i.e., in a hotel, office building, etc.) as required
• You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services)
• Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 services available in your community can still be reached by dialing their three-digit codes 


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) even after the 988 code is in effect or visit the website by clicking the following National Suicide Prevention Lifeline link - https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/


To find more information on the Suicide Prevention Hotline changes and the mandatory 10-digit dialing, click the following FCC link - https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline 


Until July 16, 2021 if you need assistance for suicide prevention and mental health crisis assistance, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline today.

Veterans should Press 1 to be connected with the Veterans Crisis Line. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available today, providing suicide prevention and mental health crisis assistance at 1-800-273-8255 and through online chats. 988 is not a nationwide calling code right now.

The Veterans Crisis Line is available today, providing Veteran specific suicide prevention and crisis assistance at 1 800 273 8255 (Press 1), by texting 838255, and through online chats at veteranscrisisline.net.

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