On November 18, 2021, the FCC adopted a Second Report and Order requiring covered text providers to support text messaging to 988 (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or Lifeline). In the Second Report and Order, the Commission recognizes that texting can be a preferred method of communications for at-risk populations, including individuals with disabilities.
The Second Report and Order follows up on the FCC designating 988 as the 3-digit number for voice calls to the Lifeline. Individuals can currently reach the Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or through online chats. Service members, veterans, and their families may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1, texting 838255, or sending online chats through the Veterans Crisis Line’s website, https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/.
In the Second Report and Order, the FCC sets July 16, 2022 as the implementation deadline to support text messaging to 988. That is the same date when voice calls must be able to reach 988.
November 18 Meeting News Release:
Text-to-988 Second Report and Order:
General information about 988 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline. For further information, please contact Emily Caditz, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-2268 or Emily.Caditz@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).