Dialing 988 phone numbers will need to include 406 area code later this year

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

An upcoming change to quick-dial the national suicide hotline will require locals with 988 phone numbers to make sure callers dial the statewide 406 area code to reach them.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formally approved new rules to designate “988” as the nationwide three-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to call the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline. That hotline number is currently 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK).

Though the change goes into effect nationally on July 16, 2022, local calls should begin using “406”before the “988” prefix starting April 24 this year, according to a Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) press release. The seven-digit calling option for “988” will stop working Oct. 24, according to the press release.

The 988 phone number prefix is used by some residents and businesses in the Dillon area.

Montana is one of 37 states and 83 area codes which are impacted by the change.

The new dialing requirement applies to all telephone communications carriers as well as all interconnected and one-way Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers.