988 becoming suicide hotline could especially help young people, local psychologist says


SALISBURY, Md. – On Thursday the FCC designated 988 as a number that would automatically connect callers to the national suicide prevention hotline, and now local mental health officials say this could really help young people.

The number will automatically connect people to the hotline starting in July of 2022. Right now, the hotline is a normal ten digit number that can sometimes be easy to forget.

Dr. Kathy Seifert, a local psychologist, tells 47 ABC that the new hotline number could be particularly useful for kids or teenagers who may find themselves in crisis. She says oftentimes young people can be reluctant to call the hotline, but a short, easy to remember number could help.

“Something that’s well known, and that everybody kind of supports would make them more likely to call this little short number and get support,” Dr. Seifert said.

988 doesn’t go in effect until July of 2022. Until then, the suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Maryland, Virginia