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Remember your 10 digits

We urge residents to remember to start dialing all 10 digits — including the 989 area code in front of local numbers — for all phone calls later this month.

State officials will require the 10-digit dialing by Oct. 24, but residents can start practicing the extra dialing on April 24, News staff writer Julie Riddle reported recently.

The change is necessary because of a new suicide prevention hotline Michiganders will be able to reach by dialing 988 — just three digits, like when they call 911.

Because some of the seven-digit phone numbers in the 989 area code begin with 988, residents have to dial the area code first to avoid inadvertently calling the new hotline.

With suicide one of the leading causes of deaths in the U.S. — claiming the lives of 15.4 out of every 100,000 Michiganders last year — we’re glad to see the hotline on its way, and dialing the extra three digits to make a local is a nuisance we’ll gladly accept to make the hotline happen.

But developing new habits can be hard, so we encourage all readers to start building that habit as soon as they can.

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