Popular Lafayette numbers starting with 988 will soon require area code due to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline rollout

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Unknown caller. A man holds a phone in his hand and thinks to end the call. Incoming from an unknown number. Incognito or anonymous

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Does your home, business or cellular seven-digit phone number start with 9-8-8?? If so, beginning Oct. 24, 2021, 10-digit dialing will become mandatory for anyone trying to reach you by phone.

Why is this happening? The FCC adopted an order approving 988 as the three digit National Suicide Prevention Hotline allowing Americans in crisis to connect with the new suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors by simply dialing 9-8-8.

Previously, anyone who needed help had to dial 1-800-273-8255.

There is no need to change your number, the FCC says.

However, anytime someone tries to dial your number locally, if they don’t start by entering 1 and the area code you’re in, the call to you will not connect.

What should you do? Make sure people who need to reach you always include 1+ (your area code) when calling you from now on.

If you utilize a medical alert device or home security system, those will need to be reprogrammed to dial out with 1+ (the area code) before the seven-digit number it calls currently.

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