RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Much like how you think of the numbers 911 in an emergency, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is being changed to three simple digits: 988 for mental health emergencies.
The National Suicide Lifeline will be shortened to 988 in 2021.
The shortened number aims to make it easier for those in crisis to remember and call to receive the immediate help they need.
Although approved by the FCC, for now, those experiencing suicidal thoughts can access the national lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK because the shortened 988 number won't be active for several months.
The Front Porch Coalition, a Rapid City suicide prevention organization is excited about this change.
"Currently the number is not active, it's not ready to use, so please continue to use the full nine-digit number, please continue to access that service because it's been approved by the FCC but they have a process that needs to go through," said Stephanie Scheweitzer Dixon, executive director of the Front Porch Coalition.
The new 988 suicide lifeline number is expected to be active nationwide by 2021.
Dixon said Front Porch is always looking for volunteers to join their Loss Team, those interested can reach out on Facebook.