988 shortcut (like 911 but not baked in like it is now)

As all of you North American users are aware, 1-800-273-8255 is the national suicide prevention hotline. Last week, the FCC has announced that the dialing shortcut ‘988’ is going to be the number of the national number, or a local hotline, depending on local carrier support.

Based on that, I’m going to propose that we support (in Advanced Settings) a “988 redirect number” that defaults to the NANP number (based on locale perhaps). Whenever anyone in one of our systems dials 988, they should be directed immediately to this “read only” option that defaults to 1-800-273-8255. Since we are already tracking 911 location and using it on our extensions, I’d like to think that such a change would be welcome.

One argument against is that ‘988’ is going to be a direct access shortcut within the next three years. Even if you want to wait for it, setting this up in your Outbound Routes seems like a good idea. An alternate solution would be a Custom Extension that dials the number and uses existing rules, but this seems like something that we (as a community) can support.

Thanks Dave! Now I have ‘Canada Suicide Prevention’ in my search history.

In what way is 911 “baked in” to the system now? At present there is no default behavior for what happens when an extension dials 911, it’s up the system integrator/installer to create appropriate outbound routes and trunk configurations to ensure that emergency calls are terminated. What would be served by an Advanced Settings feature that would not be served by the following outbound route dialing rule

Furthermore, that number appears to be for US, not North America and I’m not at all sure it’s appropriate to treat those calls similarly to 911 calls which may trigger an immediate on-site notification when the number is dialed, and by whom.

I have “Suicide Prevention Hotline” in mine, which means it will come up during my periodic reinvestigation. That’s going to be a fun convo.

I kind of forgot about Canada and Mexico for a minute (Sorry).

The rest is kind of why I wanted to have a discussion. I know that Emergency Routes include the 911 CID for the extension instead of the business (location specificity), and this may or may not be a component of the plan. On the other hand, it can be reasonably temporary since 988 (in the US) is going to become mandatory in two years anyway. A lot is going to have to be flexible as the “rules” (whether formal or informal) are being codified into practice. If the “e988” system tracks location the same way, U.S. users and integrators will have to deal with the fallout of the decision at some point.

Whether there is (or isn’t) an immediate on-site response is a valid concern. I really don’t have a good feel for it. If it was one of my employees calling from work, I’d want to know, but I can see where that could be a problem for others.

One of my co-workers committed suicide at work and caught us all by surprise, so I’m probably not the person that should be making a lot of suggestions, other than I think there might be the germ of an idea in here.

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