From Pasadena to Palo Alto, callers in nine California area codes will be required to use 10-digit dialing when making phone calls beginning Sunday.
The changes, which will affect thousands of California residents, stem from federal rules that will make it easier for callers to reach crisis resources.
Callers who have a 988 exchange or “central office code” — the first three numbers of a seven-digit phone number — will have to dial the area code of a desired number first, followed by the remaining seven digits, to complete their connections.
The change was ordered by the Federal Communications Commission in July 2020 when it established 988 as the new nationwide three-digit phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Across the U.S., 82 area codes will transition to 10-digit dialing to help facilitate the change.
Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses the toll-free number (800) 272-8255 to connect to an expansive network of approximately 180 crisis centers nationwide.
According to the FCC, the changes “will help to ensure ubiquitous deployment of 988, thereby easing access to the suicide prevention and crisis intervention services, decreasing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health crises and ultimately saving lives.”
In California, the following area codes will switch to 10-digit dialing:
209: Stockton, Modesto and the surrounding areas
530: northern California regions, including the Sacramento Valley, Shasta Cascade and the northern Sierra Nevada
562: Long Beach and surrounding areas in Orange County