New bill would change National Suicide Hotline number to 9-8-8

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- When there's an emergency, the number you call is easy to remember.

But when someone you know is in need of emergency mental health services -- do you know what number to call?

A new bill would make that number easier to remember. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced the bipartisan National Suicide Hotline Designation Act Bill.

Last year, Congress ordered the FCC to report how they can improve the national suicide hotline.

After working with other departments, the FCC is recommending the number be changed from 10 digits to three.

"One of the things that the VA has recognized is that with their 10-digit suicide hotline, it just complicates people accessing help in an emergency, in a very urgent situation and we want to make help easier to access," said Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

If passed, that three digit number would be 988 across the country.

The current number is 1-800-273-8255.

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