The National Suicide Designation Act of 2020 was signed into law, which will establish 9-8-8 as a universal number for mental health crises and suicide prevention. On October 17, 2020, the President signed the bill to establish the law to enable states to enact fees similar to those in place for 9-1-1 that will support the need for expanded services at the local level to receive and respond to crisis calls.
“The need for 9-8-8 is urgent. Without appropriate care, people with mental illness end up on our streets, in jails and in emergency departments—and dying in tragic encounters with law enforcement,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., NAMI CEO. “By signing this bill into law, we are making real progress toward ensuring people in crisis get help, not handcuffs. We are grateful to Congress and the FCC for their efforts in moving this legislation forward and making 9-8-8 a reality.”
More from NAMI’s statement
The three-digit number will not be operational until July 2022. If you are experiencing a crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “NAMI” to 741741.
Find out what you can do to prevent suicide.