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10-digit dialing begins this weekend to accommodate National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Affects much of Kansas, Missouri
Posted at 5:54 AM, Oct 20, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Starting Oct. 24, many people across the U.S. will be required to start using the area code when dialing local numbers.

That change will affect many people in Kansas and Missouri - including those in the 816 area code.

Currently, people can use a normal seven-digit phone number to dial locally. The area code is not needed for most local calls.

However, to accommodate a new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, people in 83 area codes will now have to use the area code, even for local calls.

Beginning on July 16, 2022, anyone in need of the hotline's assistance can call "988" instead of the lengthy 1-800-273-TALK number for ease of access.

Because the 988 number was approved, any area code where there exists a phone number with a 988 prefix (ex: 816-988-XXXX) will need to use the area code to avoid dialing the Lifeline. It's the same reason no phone numbers start with "911," and will keep anyone from having to change their number.

In Kansas, the "620" and "785" area codes are affected by the change. Those make up most of the state outside of major metropolitan areas.

In Missouri, "314," "417," "660" and "816" are affected, which encompass both the Kansas City and St. Louis areas.

Anyone with questions can visit the Missouri Public Service Commission website.