Northern Nevada’s 775 area code is one of 82 across the country that will move to required 10-digit phone number dialing on Oct. 24. The change will enable the use of 988 as a quick and direct connection to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Starting Sunday, local calls will require the area code plus the telephone number or they may not connect.
President Trump in October 2020 signed into law the bipartisan bill to create the 3-digit suicide hotline number. Previously the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was a 10-digit number that wasn’t easy to remember–and likely impossible for those in crisis.
In an interview with NPR last year, American Foundation for Suicide prevention CEO Robert Gebbia said the new number will make reaching the suicide hotline easier for people who need help. “When there are other emergencies, we know 911,” he said. “It’s ingrained in our heads — we don’t have to think about it.” He anticipates 988 to have a similar impact in making the hotline more accessible.
The shift to 10-digit dialing for certain area codes is because of their use of 988 as the first three digits in a local seven-digit phone number. Nevada’s 775 area code includes 988 as a local number prefix; the 702 area code does not.
The Federal Communications Commission said that many states and area codes have already switched to 10-digit dialing; 35 states are left to meet Sunday’s deadline.
Business that use a PBX or VoIP phone system may also need to upgrade or reprogram the system for 10-digit dialing, the FCC advised.
Individuals should check the settings on their devices as well. Security alarms and gates and medical alert devices that use phone services must be updated if they connect with a local telephone number. Cell phone contacts, call forwarding services and other automated services will also need to have the 10-digit number to function properly.
More information is available from the FCC at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/ten-digit-dialing.
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