For people who still dial a telephone, this will mean adding a few more punches on your keypad. For most of us, who don't remember phone numbers anymore and just use our contact list on our phones, the move to 10-digit dialing will mean making an adjustment in how we store our contacts in our phones.

What is 10-Digit Dialing?

Basically, it means you'll need to dial the area code of the phone number you're dialing, even if the call your making is within that area code.

Why Will Louisiana Have 10-Digit Dialing?

The reason has to do with an FCC ruling that adopted 988 as the three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline. Because of that, area codes that use "988" as a prefix for numbers will need to move to the 10-digit dialing option.

In Louisiana, area codes 504 and 337 are also affected.

When Will 10-Digit Dialing Begin?

A six-month grace period or "permissive dialing period" will begin on April 24th. That's when you'll need to start practicing dialing those extra digits or you'll need to make sure you update your contacts on your phone to include the area code. Most of us already have area codes stored as part of our contacts but if you don't, you'll want to.

The official switch to 10-digit dialing will come in late October. October the 24th to be precise. That's when telephone carriers will start making you dial those extra digits in order to complete your call. Officials with NANPA, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator say the total transition to 10-digit calling will be completed by the middle of July next year.

While this might not seem like a big deal, it will become an annoyance for a lot of us who are set in our ways. We will adjust.  The fact that our "little annoyance" could lead to faster assistance for those considering harming themselves makes the extra effort all worthwhile.

So, go check your contact listings, make sure there is an area code included, and pray for those who are not well in their own hearts and minds, there is help available.

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