Four area codes in Michigan are now required to dial full 10-digit phone numbers, with the area code included, under Federal Communications Commission guidelines that went into effect Oct. 24.
Last year, the FCC approved an order to designate 988 as the 3-digit dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which currently can be reached by dialing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), beginning in 2022.
To accommodate the change, telecommunication carriers in areas using 7-digit dialing with phone numbers beginning in 988 were required to change how calls are dialed in those areas.
Anyone in Michigan’s 810, 989, 906 and 616 area codes will now be required to dial the full 10-digit phone number, with area code, for outgoing local calls as part of the change.
Attempting to dial a 7-digit number in those areas will lead to a recording explaining that the call could not be completed as dialed.
Americans in crisis will be able to connect with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 beginning July 16, 2022.
Until then, individuals in need of help should continue to contact them by calling 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or through online chats at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/.
Since 2008, suicide has ranked as the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, per the FCC.
Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement upon approving the order that he hoped establishing 988 as a 3-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline would make it easier for Americans in crisis to seek help, as well as destigmatize discussions of suicide and mental illness.
“My hope is that by establishing a government-backed 988 suicide and mental health three-digit dialing code, on par with the 911 dialing code that all Americans know, we will send a powerful signal that there’s nothing shameful about seeking help in times of crisis—that it’s a sign of strength, not of weakness. We will let people know that they are not alone,” Pai said.