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.