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A new 3-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will affect how you make calls in mid-Michigan

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Posted at 9:27 AM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 09:50:28-04

You probably know 911, but starting next summer, we'll have another nationwide emergency number, 988, which will direct people to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

This change will directly affect four area codes in Michigan - 989, 906, 810 and 616 - in a way you might not expect.

"There are 82 area codes in 35 states that currently use 988 as their local exchange and allow seven-digit dialing," the Federal Communications Commission said, in a statement to FOX 47 News.

"To prepare for implementation of a quick way to dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — using only 988 — these area codes must transition to 10-digit dialing for all calls, including local calls," the agency said.

What this means is that, beginning on Oct. 24, if you're calling from a line in one those area codes, you must dial all 10 digits so the North American Numbering Plan Administrator can ensure all calls to 988 are directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

"I think that it's great. I think awareness needs to be made about it and I think the switch is an easy one," said Amber Haubert, owner of Global Coffee Co. in St. Johns,.

"It's only three more numbers," said Larry Ritter, a St. Johns local. "I think it's a good idea as far as the suicide...there's too many suicides -- way too many."

The 988 number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will go into service on July 16.

For more information on this change, click here.

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5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

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