Sandy Schneider, MD, FACEP, ACEP’s associate executive director for practice, policy, and academic lines of service, met with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to discuss an enhanced national suicide hotline and a national phone number, such as 611.
ACEP responded to a request for comments from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018. This act requires the FCC to conduct a study that examines the feasibility of designating a simple, easy-to-remember three-digit dialing code (such as an N11 code) that would be used for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system. ACEP supports the creation of a new three-digit dialing code for mental health emergencies, as it would improve access to appropriate care and could reduce the prevalence of psychiatric boarding. However, ACEP believes that in addition to the new number, there must be adequate resources and services in the community that can provide feasible and safe alternatives to patients seeking care in the emergency department.