The Federal Communications Commission today proposed designating 988 as the national suicide prevention and mental health hotline number. The hotline would direct calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a national network of 163 crisis centers that last year answered more than 2.2 million calls and 100,000 online chats. The proposed rule would require all telecommunications carriers and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol service providers to enable the change within 18 months. FCC will accept comments on the proposed rule for 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Congress enacted the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, which tasked the FCC with examining and reporting on the technical feasibility of designating a hotline number; and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation yesterday reported a bipartisan bill (S. 2661) that would codify the hotline. The House companion (H.R. 4194) has been referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee. 

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