The U.S. is weeks away from launching a three-digit National Suicide Prevention Hotline, able to receive phone calls and text messages, but most states are unprepared for the roll out.  

Starting on July 16, anyone can call or text 988 in order to access the U.S. suicide hotline. It’s an initiative that began under former President Trump when the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was signed into law. It requires every state to implement the necessary telecommunications systems to enable phone calls and text messages to 988.  

The law aimed to establish a shorter, universal phone number for people to access suicide prevention support.  

However, most states don’t seem prepared to launch 988, with only 13 having enacted legislation that directly addresses implementing and funding the new hotline, according to National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP). 

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