• 52°

Lafayette County residents to be required to dial 10-digit phone numbers later this year

Residents of Lafayette County and North Mississippi will be required to dial the full 10-digit phone number for all local calls starting later this year.

The transition, which will begin this month, is due to a new, nationwide, three-digit phone number that will be directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Americans who dial 988 will be directed to the Lifeline as part of the new rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on July 16, 2020.

With 988 being designated as a new number to call the Lifeline, a new dialing procedure will be required for parts of the country that use seven-digit dialing where 988 is used as the first three numbers. This includes north Mississippi, which uses the area code 662.

Starting April 24, people should begin dialing the full 10-digit phone number. If only a seven-digit number is dialed, the call will still be completed, but starting on Oct. 24 the 10-digit number must be dialed  for all local calls or the call will not go through.

Beginning on July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

During the transition to 988, those who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats. Veterans and Service Members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing and can chat online at veteranscrisisline.net, or texting 838255.