Dallas, TX — Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson announced that her legislation to designate 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number for the national suicide prevention and mental health hotline will officially take effect on July 16, 2022.
In 2020, Congresswoman Johnson introduced the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act with Reps. Chris Stewart (R-UT), Seth Moulton (D-MA), and Greg Gianforte (R-MT). The legislation passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by the president in October 2020. After nearly two years of preparation, hiring, and training, the 9-8-8 number will officially go live on all devices in the United States beginning July 16t 2022.
“On average, we lose one person to suicide every two hours in Texas,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “We have to do a better job supporting those suffering in silence, and this effort will do just that. By shortening the number for the National Suicide Hotline to 9-8-8, we will simplify access to mental health-related support and care during times of distress. Simply put, this effort will save lives.”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the three-digit 9-8-8 is more than just an easy-to-remember number—it’s a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. It is the first step toward strengthening and transforming crisis care in this country and will serve as a universal entry point so that you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help no matter where you live.