T-Mobile customers can now dial 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the carrier announced today. It's the first major telephony service to program the newly classified shortcode after President Trump signed bipartisan legislation in October.
The government was tasked in 2018 with creating a three-digit shortcode that would make the NSPL easier to access — its full phone number, still operational, is 1-800-273-8255. 988 was chosen for its proximity to the 911 number for emergency services and its avoidance of the "-11" suffix which may already be in use for state or local informational hotlines.
The FCC has mandated telephony services to direct 988 to the NSPL by July of 2022. It's also considering a petition to mandate text and video call access to 988.
For T-Mobile's part, the company claims to have been ahead of the curve by rerouting 988 calls to the NSPL earlier this year, crossing off charges to the number, and setting up a bounce-back text on the number advising people to call it instead.
AT&T, UScellular, and Verizon have not yet announced their activations of 988.
- Phone: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
- For T-Mobile customers: 988
- Live Webchat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/