This is only to let people know, a public service announcement if you will.
Changes are coming soon for the 504 area code in New Orleans — and it will mean more dialing. Starting Sunday, you’ll have to dial 504 then the phone number to make a local call. You might even have to dial a “1” before the area code in some cases, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Local calls may not connect if you don’t use the area code. A recording will tell you that your call cannot be completed as dialed, officials said, and you will need to hang up and try again with the area code. The change is coming so that federal authorities can make it easier to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Your phone number, including your area code, will not change, officials said. The only thing that’s changing is how you dial phone numbers. If you have numbers saved in your phone without an area code, they’ll need to be updated.nola.com
It is not just New Orleans and I have to say we had to do the same in the 703 area code in Northern VA before we moved down here so it is not the first time someone has to do this.
The changes are happening for 82 area codes in 35 states. In Louisiana, the 504 (metro New Orleans) and 337 (Lafayette) area codes are included in the change. These areas currently use “988” in phone numbers (example: 504-988-0000). For Louisiana’s other area codes – 985, 225 and 318 – you won’t need to include them if you are making a local call, officials said. The change paves the way for the FCC to make a 988 shortcut for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The shortcut, which is similar to 911 and 311, is expected to be available nationally by July 16, 2022. Officials said the shortcut is easier to remember for people who need to reach suicide prevention and mental health counselors quickly.
There is a method to the madness.
If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, here are some resources: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). It’s a free, 24/7 confidential service that provides people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information and local resources. Start an online chat here with a counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Text “HOME” to 741741 to connect with a counselor 24/7 through the Crisis Text Line. Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or text a message to 838255. It connects veterans and service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat or text 24/7. LGBTQ youth can call the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386 anytime. You can also text “START” to 678-678 or start an online chat anytime.
Remember, this starts Sunday!