988 Crisis Lifeline for Mental Health

Enabling the new 3-digit 988 Lifeline Number



User Story

All Kazoo Platform operators need to implement outgoing calls to 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in order to comply with the FCC directive to transition all call access by July 16, 2022.


On July 16, 2020 the FCC voted to reserve 988 as a new 3-digit call number Americans in crisis can call to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network of suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.   This is akin to the 911 Emergency Hotline; callers dialing 988 will be directed to the existing support number, 1-800-273-8255.

These rules apply to VOIP service providers in addition to telecommunications carriers.  Some important details include

💡 Deployment deadline for this addition was July 16, 2022.

  • All providers must now support 10-digit dialing in areas that still support 7-digit dialing, using 988 as the first 3 digits to reach 10.

How to Deploy 988 within your KAZOO Platform

Below we outline steps for deploying 988 dialing in your account.

Hosted Platform Systems

If your account uses 2600Hz carriers

The 988 Lifeline number has been deployed and is accessible now.

_If you are using your own carrier on hosted (BYOC)_You will need to set this up on your own.  Please follow the steps below for Private Cloud and Global Infrastructure accounts.

BYOC / Private Cloud / Global Infrastructure Sites

If you are using the Hosted Platform and Bring Your Own Carriers or support your own platform as a Private Cloud or Global Infrastructure account. you will want to implement this by adding a “carrier”

To do this, use the Carriers App.

Click on the application.  If you do not see it ask your administrator.

From the home screen, select “Other” to add a new “carrier”

You will see the screen below.

  1. In the Brand field, select Other, and enter your Other Brand Name, 988 Emergency

  2. In the Server field, replace with the IP address of a carrier who can process toll-free calls

  3. In the Name field, enter 988 Emergency also

  4. Under Rules, select Add New Rule, and click on Emergency Dispatcher

  5. You will see the screen below

    • In the Prefix field, Enter the Lifeline 10-digit number, +18002738255
    • In the Type a Test Number field, enter 988
    • Add the following Custom Regular Expression as shown in the screenshot above: ^988(\d{0})$
  6. **SAVE !!!**Your new “carrier” should display in your list of carriers.

  7. Select the Gear setting to the right of your listed carrier and go to the Advanced Settings tab and select the Audio option

  8. Move PCMU audio codecs to the Selected setting.

  9. SAVE that setting also


I’m using the Open Source (or older version of KAZOO as a Global Infrastructure installation) and after setting this up it still doesn’t go to the dedicated Emergency Carrier.  Any ideas?

This can happen if the 988 number is defined in the Carrier Rules as emergency, but not included as an emergency classifier in your database.   It then is set as “unknown,” and will find a carrier that supports unknown classifications.   In pre-4.3 versions of KAZOO, you will need to add 988 to the  emergency classifier file in your database.

NOTE:  This kind of modification requires expert knowledge of how these databases work and can cause serious issues if not entered correctly.  Please consider reaching out to support for details.

  • To check your classifier file, you can run this commandsudo sup kapps_config get_json number_manager classifiers and search the results for the emergency classifier values. If it is not there you will need to add it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there a test number I can use to make sure my settings are correct?

We are not aware of one at this time.

Once this is implemented does the 10-digit phone number 1-800-273-8255 still work if called? Yes.  This number will  remain operational during the transition process and after July 16, 2022

I’m using the Open Source platform and can’t seem to get a dedicated Emergency Carrier process to work.  Any ideas?

This can happen if the 988 number is classified as “unknown.”  In pre-5.x versions of KAZOO, you may need to modify the classifier file in your database to include 988 as an emergency dispatch number.   NOTE:  This kind of modification requires expert knowledge of how these databases work and can cause serious issues if not edited correctly.  Please consider reaching out to support for details.


  • FCC Announcement is HERE