OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – As suicide rates continue to skyrocket…particularly amongst youth…a three-digit suicide prevention number will soon be set up.
The FCC voted just yesterday to make 988 the number to access a National Suicide Prevention Hotline, similar to 911 for emergencies.
Olympic Athlete and Ohio Valley native, Amy Gamble, played a part in bringing this to life. She says she was contacted by The American Foundation on Suicide Prevention and was asked to write a letter to her senator.
The FCC says that Callers will then be routed to one of more than 150 crisis centers across the U-S. Amy says her hope is that it will soon become second nature, and will help save many lives.
Everybody knows 911. It’s just ingrained. And we don’t have to think about that. So, its going to be the same concept when it comes to a mental health crisis or someone who’s in a suicidal crisis. You’re not going to have to think about it. It’s just going to be 9-8-8. You’ll be able to call right away.Amy Gamble – Executive Director, NAMI Greater Wheeling
The service currently uses the number 800-273-TALK.
9-8-8 will go into effect after a comment period, which could take 15 months.