In all seriousness, there is possibly no better domain where reducing friction leads to lives saved. I applaud this decision and hope it comes with sufficient funding to handle increased call volume.
The calls from someone who's just swallowed a bottle of pills are harrowing and thankfully I never got one of those myself.
A suicide hotline might be called only by people who have no intent to die. If we measure how many people die it's not going to be many, but that doesn't mean the hotline works.
1) you could dial them also on old rotary phones with a lock on the dial disc (the lock was put on the "three finger hole") but of course now it makes no sense anymore
2) they were easier to "dial" without dialing but tapping on the "hang" buttons
Nowadays 112 is the "unique" emergency number across all EU and many nearby countries:
Anchorage Alaska: 907 (2x as long as NYC)
All of Idaho: Either 208 (2x) or 986 (4x).
The current system was introduced in the CCITT Blue Book in 1964, it looks like. Area codes were in the 40s.
That looks like a hack. I understood it at 7 years old, but it is typically the kind of hack I’m told other adults wouldn’t understand. Do you think it was much used beyond technical-minded people who always wondered how things worked?
You sometimes see it in old movies
Allow me to doubt that, the time the rotary dial goes back is exactly the time needed for making the pulses at the correct interval/rate, typically 10 pulses per second:
Even if the switch allowed usually (and in theory) 7 to 12 most phones dials were set for exactly 10 and I doubt that anyone could get relably 12 pulses per second by tapping, in any case, a 999-999999 would have taken some 9-10 seconds by dialing and no less than 7 seconds by tapping or anyway at the most you would have been able to shave off at the most some 20% of the dialing time, introducing a high risk of getting "another" number.
They might have just tapped 10 times (dial rotary-0) to get an operator and then requested manual completion of the call. I don't remember, exactly.
I don't even know if you can still also do pulse dialing instead of solely DTMF dialing now.
I mean it was an easy association to make, so at least a couple of friends guessed it. I can't remember if I was told or if I figured it out myself, but at least the explanation I was given involved this empirical observation
116 000 is for missing children;
116 006 is for victims of crime;
116 111 is a child helpline;
116 117 is for non-emergency medical assistance; and
116 123 is for people in emotional distress.
116 123 is the new standard for emotional support helplines in the 28 EU countries and has already been implemented by France, Germany, Ireland and United Kingdom.
You would've thought 116 123 at least deserves consideration by the USA, even if they didn't adopt it?
Also, while they are at it, it's a shame the USA don't fully implement 112 alongside 911 as their emergency number, because Americans are starting to look like the odd ones out - see this world map https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/112_(emergency_telephone_numbe...
I heard, these days, people go on holidays & vacations abroad, and emergencies & illness don't care about national boundaries.
On a positive note, it's nice to hear about Americans caring for sick people.
(I don't think this list is complete!). It's hard for me to think that many Brazilians remember all of these -- the Wikipedia article suggests that most don't -- and it's also unclear to me, for example, how one should choose which police force to call when needing police assistance.
On the other hand, perhaps several of these were created in order to provide a free call option for accessing public services, and in some cases one that would be usable by functionally illiterate citizens.
- Where are we routing this
- When the target is full, which hotlines do we route to and in what order (load balancing)
- Will this use e911 coordinate forwarding? i.e. what privacy controls will be in place
- Will this get priority override on cell networks? i.e. bump non 988 calls when cell site is full, but not bump 911 or first responders. (GSM capability)
There are probably a few other details that would need to be sorted, but it should be easy from a technical stand-point.
List above with line breaks:
Does anyone have anything that backs this up?
The training that we get involves risk assessing the caller by asking them questions. I won't go into details, but it's very rare that we would call emergency services without the caller's consent, and it would require the caller to tell us that they're in imminent risk of taking their life, and also that they aren't willing to work with us on finding a means of staying safe.
The training that we get puts a lot of emphasis on protecting the dignity and autonomy and privacy of the caller.
There's no one national center, calls to NSPL get routed to the center that's closest to you geographically (I believe that's based on area code). Different centers may have different training and policies, etc.
I would definitely argue that this is the case. Like you, I also volunteer for one of the NSPL crisis centers, and we don't generally call emergency services unless it's absolutely necessary, but there are definitely stories out there where they were called when (in my personal opinion as a volunteer) it was not required. I seem to remember a story about a veteran getting an unwelcomed visit from law enforcement simply because they owned guns and had suicidal thoughts with no intent to harm themselves. If I can find the story again I will link it.
I think a big reason so many people deal with depression in silence and end up committing suicide is because they don't want the attention or being put into the mental health system. They need someone who'll listen to them be completely honest about all the problems that they can't be open about with friends and get it all out without the whole neighborhood knowing or being fucking detained.
Plenty of people are going through temporary troubles and don't want "depressed/suicidal/a risk to themselves and others" tacked onto their name forever. But as it is, a lot of our mental health frameworks are set up that way and it leads to people choosing a quieter way out.
I know loads of people will defend wellness checks or putting people in a hospital for a while. For some people going through extreme crises, it is good. But we need a very clear and obvious option for people who aren't a danger to others and just need an anonymous chat once in a while and want to be left alone the minute they hang up the phone. I think men in particular, especially since a large number have nobody who they can honestly vent about their problems with, are in need of something like this. They don't want to be seen as weak, they don't want to be thrown into the system, they just need someone to talk to.
A men are the first suiciders, so it’s worth weighing this is. Once we find a group for them where they can share the problems they have with women, they’re generally defused and talk about their thoughts years later. It’s living in the omerta and denial of women’s issues that multiplies anger.
The vast majority of people who call suicide hotlines do it for this purpose.
A problem is there's a "risk" in calling. There's no 100% guarantee that you won't get a knock on your door 30 minutes later.
I know people will say that suicide has a clear and obvious risk, too. The problem is that people fear the embarrassment of being paid a visit or people knowing about their troubles more than they do death.
Maybe I have low expectations but stopping doing something because they're killing too many people unnecessarily seems like a big and uncommon step in the right direction for most law enforcement agencies. Usually they just deny, deny, deny.
I believe that most cops are good, but the position definitely attracts people who like violence/power. I don't know the solution here, but there has to be a way to help good cops get the recognition they deserve without forcing them to betray their fellow officers to eliminate the bad.
There was a large group of arsehole youth tearing through the area on their dirtbikes, and some fellow came off his bike, he escaped by hopping on his friend's bike, but the bike was left behind, and the police had to remove it.
In the video we are treated to a group of officers egging on a colleague to get on the bike and take it to the precinct. The victim had clearly never ridden motorbike before, and it ends up as expected, the guy tears across a busy intersection through a red light, wipes out, nearly hitting two cars. And then he picks himself up from the ground and none of his "friends" assists him. Oh, and no helmet, no protective clothing, presumably no license, but open weapons. The guy did something wrong and was made fun of in public.
Unit discipline in the leading city in the US is bad beyond all description. There is no good cop in all of that video, not a single one. They all deserve to have serious discipline imposed, but that will never happen.
Therapist/volunteer: "Are you planning to kill yourself right now?"
Client/Hotline caller: "No, I just can't stop thinking about it and I don't see any other way out."
Therapist/volunteer: Gives resources, talks "Do you think you will be safe until you can make it to counseling/crisis center/other help?"
Client/Hotline caller: "Yes."
no emergency services are called
Client/Hotline caller: "Yes, I have this bottle of pills/knife/rope and I'm doing it tonight."
Therapist/volunteer: tries to talk them out of it, and get positive affirmation that they will be safe, but fails
emergency services are called
Client/Hotline caller: "Yes, I have a gun and I'm going to kill someone else too"
cops are called immediately
Those are extremely contrived examples and I'm not a therapist/volunteer myself (I just know a few), but that's generally how it goes. Emergency services are called only when the caller has a concrete plan, the means, and refuses alternatives or represents a danger to others. In some places with poor services (read: places that probably need them the most, unfortunately) this just winds up being poorly trained cops and people get shot sometimes because the cop "felt threatened". Bear this in mind in how you communicate such an emergency, if you ever face it with a loved one. Know your resources.
This is a tricky question and the answer is neither "yes" nor "no." In the vast majority of cases, no police (or other authority) involvement is required and in the cases where emergency help is needed, suicide hotline staff will make every attempt to gain permission to send them. The goal of a suicide hotline is to help you with your personal crisis and no one-size-fits-all solution is possible.
That being said, if you are actively suicidal and threatening to imminently hurt yourself, it is possible that emergency personnel may be called without your permission. While no one likes that scenario, it truly is the best, lifesaving thing an operator can do in a small number of cases."
There are numerous reports of police showing up to suicide calls and shooting someone. There's certainly a discussion to be had here about whether the shootings are self defense, but Taylor_OD's speculation is certainly not "without evidence".
The person was shot after attacking the cops. You make it sound like they just shot these people for fun.
The person? There's five different articles with five different people.
> You make it sound like they just shot these people for fun.
Did you actually bother reading my post? I brought up the possibility that the shootings were self-defense--nowhere did I blame the cops.
If, after three days, they determine that you're not a danger to yourself or anyone else, out the door you go. If they determine that you're in harm's way, they talk to you and make recommendations. You don't have to agree to any of them. Typically they involve plans for moving forward, like making arrangements to see appropriate medical professionals on a regular basis, finding housing (if you're homeless), enrolling in rehab... whatever is relevant to your case.
If they decide you need to stay, but you say you want to leave, they can either take the matter to court, or they can let you walk out the door. I've only ever talked to one person who landed in that situation; it doesn't seem to happen to most people who get sectioned.
Obviously, some areas of the US have worse medical and mental care than others. If you're in a part of the US that's lacking in that regard, it could be more like a jail sentence than assistance.
If the alternative is being dead, well... but yes, you don't want it unless it's a serious emergency. Chances are a welfare check isn't going to result in sectioning anyway, though.
The contact details were a 10-digit phone number which wasn't easy to remember, or to text a 5-digit number to a different 5-digit number. The specifics went in one ear and out the other. I was driving at the time, but I would have struggled to remember them long enough to find a pen if I was at home!
If instead, it was to call or text 988, then that would have been much more memorable! I hope this saves lives!
I don't trust authorities so much that I worry people in need of help are dissuaded from calling them.
I had a series of medical issues when I was in high school. On more than one occasion, police came to do a well-being check because I wasn't at school--they knew why, but they were still required to check. One time I did need immediate help and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. These efforts do save a lot of lives--easily more than they take.
Perhaps you could enlighten us with examples?
* FCC Improves Access to 911 and Timely Assistance from First Responders - This is more-or-less explicitly requiring that phones in hotels, campuses, office buildings, etc be able to directly dial 911 without having to do any sort of prefix, that could be unknown or confusing in an emergency.
* FCC Bans Malicious Spoofing of Text Messages & Foreign Robocalls - This makes it easier for the FCC to pursue action against scammers who spoof caller ID (previously there were loopholes so that they couldn't take action if it was a text, or if the call originated from outside the US, or if it's a one-way VOIP call.
* FCC Authorizes $121 Million In Rural Broadband Funding In 16 States - Pretty self-explanatory
* FCC Reaches $550,000 Cramming Settlement with CenturyLink - This was in response to CenturyLink placing "unauthorized third-party charges and fees onto consumers' bills"
* Chairman Pai Recommends Approving T-Mobile/Sprint Merger - This one's more controversial, but you can make a strong case that allowing T-Mobile/Sprint (two relatively small providers) to merge would allow for them to compete at a higher level against Verizon and AT&T, increasing consumer choice and competition for most Americans. It also requires for them to sell off Boost Mobile to address competition concerns at the lower level, and to also invest a lot into pushing 5G technology.
So, in short, the FCC has been focusing on the following to improve the consumer experience with communications in the US:
* Pushing 5G tech
* Fighting back against robocalling and scams
* Increasing access to broadband in rural areas
If the FCC pushes anything for wider access to fast internet, I think it should be in low orbit satellites, which offer alternatives for everyone instead of just people who live in cities (5g) or people who live in rural areas ($121M investment you talk about).
Are they doing anything related to satellite internet? I know SpaceX and OneWeb are developing tech in this space, and I would absolutely love an alternative to cellular networks for internet outside my house, and I think it's reasonable to invest in it in exchange for allowing ISP competition with a shared set of satellites.
But how many short codes can we have before we can't remember what they stand for? IN this sense 988 is a better choice than one of the unused [2-9]11 numbers -- I can only remember one of them.
Here is an interesting take on the profiles of mass shooters. The part that jumped out at me is we need to be profiling these people as serial killers rather than domestic terrorists. He is basing his opinion on a study of mass shooters from today back to 1966.
I think that might dissuade a lot of them, but one of the biggest problems I see with some of the red flag laws that have been implemented is the mental health professionals who have been involved are the only people who aren't allowed to report you to the cops. Anyone else can, with impunity, but not them.
Also, I believe mental health professionals are allowed to report incidents where the patient has indicated they plan on committing a violent crime.
Are all numbers starting with 9 reserved or will we need some people to give up their numbers?
If there's any use at all, thats nice, but higher use rate strategies should have money spent on them first. For example if tumblr use or reddit use or instagram use correlated higher, which seems likely, then spend the outreach money there first to save the most people.
Right off the top of my head the 513 NPA (Ohio-ish) has a 988 NXX so there's a thousand potential phone numbers that have to change. There's going to be a ton of incoming traffic from people trying to call a dominos pizza in ohio who manage to get themselves routed to the hotline because they dialed 988 as part of the number.
Some people program some PBX dialplans such that pretty much any stream including the regex 911 goes to 911 (dial 9 for outside line and 911, dial 911 without a leading 9, etc) and they're going to try that with 988 with predictable results (try to call your buddy who used to be extension 9889 and you're mysteriously connected to a hotline).
The international phone dialing country code for Bangladesh is 880, that country code will have to change because some fraction of PBX programmers and users are going to F it up (as usual) and route all "9 for outside line 880 for Bangladesh then 123456 for the lnum" calls to the hotline.
The massive incoming call volume will require laws to reduce the massive volume involving expensive fines and fees. That'll scare people away from calling. Well, they say fake or repeatedly incorrectly routed calls will result in a $1000 fine, so if someone's feeling down, they're not going to be into a $1000 fine...
In the end it seems like it would be ridiculously cheaper, simpler, more reliable, and safer to simply have people dial 911, and the 911 ops can read a sticker stuck on their phone with the transfer number on it.
Overall the idea adds complication to a dangerous situation which is never advisable. Only someone very sarcastic could say, I know what stressed people need, is a larger more complicated decision tree when they urgently need help... Not exactly aerospace engineering going on here. We already have a "I need help" phone number, 911...
They can just require 10 digit dialing for that area code. It's already been required on may others.
> Some people program some PBX dialplans such that pretty much any stream including the regex 911 goes to 911 (dial 9 for outside line and 911, dial 911 without a leading 9, etc) and they're going to try that with 988 with predictable results (try to call your buddy who used to be extension 9889 and you're mysteriously connected to a hotline).
That would break so many things if they did that today. Numbers can contain "911" within them and have nothing to do with 911. If they've made it this long with a broken dial plan, adding another broken match for 988 won't change much as they're already used to not being able to dial thousands upon thousands of numbers.
> The international phone dialing country code for Bangladesh is 880, that country code will have to change because some fraction of PBX programmers and users are going to F it up (as usual) and route all "9 for outside line 880 for Bangladesh then 123456 for the lnum" calls to the hotline.
Generally you have to dial an international call prefix before the country code, so this is a non issue. Without it, the phone system won't know if you're trying to reach country code 44 for the UK, or area code 440, 441, 442, 443, or 445 in the US.
...are you in the US? That isn't true at all. You start with the country code. You can't reach any of the area codes you mentioned by dialing a number starting with the area code, because you have to start with 1, the US country code.
Outside the US, you can use the more unambiguous country code 001 to reach the US. (e.g. I had difficulty calling the US from China because normal American 11-digit numbers starting with 1 are processed by Chinese carriers as 11-digit Chinese cell phone numbers. But there, like here, there was no "international call prefix". You just start right off with the country code.)
You absolutely can. 443, and 445 allow for 10 digit dialing. 442 requires a 1 prefix.
In the USA you need to dial 011 (the exit code) before dialing a country code. You can't just pickup the phone and dial any countries country code and expect it to work. If you're on a phone system that supports it, you can dial +[country code] where the phone system will translate + into your countries exit code.
> Outside the US, you can use the more unambiguous country code 001 to reach the US. (e.g. I had difficulty calling the US from China because normal American 11-digit numbers starting with 1 are processed by Chinese carriers as 11-digit Chinese cell phone numbers. But there, like here, there was no "international call prefix". You just start right off with the country code.)
Only in countries where the exit code is 00. The Country Code for the USA is 1, so in a country where the exit code is 00 that would translate to 001.
In Hong Kong, the exit code is 001, so if you wanted to reach the US you would dial 001 1 then the US area code and number.
With limited exceptions (e.g. on cell phones or VoIP that automatically corrects you), to dial a domestic long distance call, you actually begin with the domestic long distance prefix, which just happens to be 1 in the US. This is entirely separate from the NANPA country code, which also just happens to be 1.
The problem is the whole point of the system is its for users who are not calm and rational.
I've never seen a scenario in the real world where making a system more complicated helped users who were not calm and rational.
This would be just like calling them for any other medical problem. If you’re in imminent danger they’ll send help. Otherwise they’ll tell you to get off the line. They won’t forward you to a doctor.
Edit: I'm not necessarily against this idea, I'm merely trying to participate in due diligence.
And, also, is there an major epidemic of emergency calls being placed to 311 or similar?
Add in the complexity of transferring calls (how many times has your call been dropped when a support agent transfers you?) and this is a bucket of trouble.
In placing an emergency call, sometimes milliseconds count.
It's harder now, because smart phones have made it harder, but it still happens.
I’m not doubting you - just can’t think of one and would like to know.
I've called the cops once, on a woman who had taken two bottles of NyQuil and was losing consciousness with the phone on speaker begging me to stay on the line until she died because she didn't want to die alone.
I've talked a dozen people out of nooses, helped teenagers get through the night with out cutting themselves, helped women who were being beaten by the spouse find a women's shelter. I've talked to the same depressed and lonely old women in a California nursing home almost every week. I spent two hours on the phone with a man who was driving because he kept threatening to crash into on coming traffic.
From what I can assume, your difference is on whether they’d harm others. I’ll assume your creed is libertarian, though there are multiple essays where respected libertarian philosophers have argued that libertarianism doesn’t allow you to give up your liberties (e.g. suicide and indentured servitude)
The fact that these people could be talked out of their suicides (and in fact that some wanted someone to talk to lest they hurt themselves) shows they clearly were having a temporary lapse in judgement. If we accept utilitarianism as the basis of libertarianism, living another day with a clearer state of mind increases utility.
The last one is bad because those people unfortunately chose to live that day.
People should have the right to die, but you're basically saying that people shouldn't be allowed the option of talking things over with a sympathetic listener before making a final decision.
Edit: I have attempted suicide before and self harmed many times. I dated a woman who attempted 12 times.
It turns out life can get much much better. I haven't self harmed in years, she's very happy and hasn't either.
It's very hard to know what living well feels like until you've done it. It took years but I like waking up in the morning.