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618, 309, AND 708 NUMBERS TO START DIALING 10 DIGITS STARTING APRIL 24TH

Illinois residents with 618, 309 or 708 area codes are being asked to dial 10 digits, beginning April 24, to make local and long-distance calls to get in practice for a mandatory change on Oct. 24.

The change is needed to ensure that people can start dialing 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022, according to a news release from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an order approving 988 as the abbreviated dialing code for the lifeline.

The Illinois Commerce Commission is asking people with 618, 309 or 708 area codes to reprogram or update any automatic-dialing equipment, life-safety systems, fax machines, fire or burglar alarms, mobile contact lists and call-forwarding arrangements.

Calls made to numbers with one of the three area codes by dialing seven digits will not go through after Oct. 24. A recording will announce that they “cannot be completed as dialed.”

People must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline until July 16, 2022.

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