LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — If you have a 440 area code, be prepared to change the way you dial.
With the rollout of the new, three-digit National Suicide Prevention Hotline, the 440 area code was identified as one of two area codes in Ohio that will have to change the way they make local calls. The other area code is 513 in the Cincinnati area.
"The new rules will apply to all telecommunications carriers as well as all interconnected and one-way Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers. They provide for a two-year transition, reflecting the real challenges of this nationwide effort, including the need for widespread network changes and providing time for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to prepare for the expected increase in the volume of calls. Under these rules, calls to 988 will be directed to 1-800-273-TALK, which will remain operational during the 988 transition and after it is completed," the FCC said in a statement.
Starting on April 24, you'll have to use your area code before the telephone number for the call to go through if you have a 440 area code.
According to the FCC, seven-digit calls should still be completed, but after October 24, they will no longer work.
Beginning July 16, 2022, if you call “988,” you will be routed to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.