Those at WNY will soon have to start dialing “716” for all phone calls.

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Usually when you dial a phone number here in Buffalo and Western New York, you go straight to the seven-digit number and don’t even bother entering the area code “716”. However, that will soon change for many here in Buffalo and the surrounding area west of New York City.

WGRZ reports that soon those in Buffalo and the surrounding area will soon have to start dialing the area code “716” before any calls, instead of just the seven-digit number.

The reason is due to a new suicide prevention hotline that will be broadcast across the country. The suicide prevention hotline will be called 9-8-8. It’s designed to get people experiencing mental health crises the care they need, quickly.

Areas with a 9-8-8 interchange, which is in western New York (South Dayton), the number 9-8-8 can go to someone’s home phone number instead, c therefore the full 10-digit number will need to be dialed.

This will go into effect on April 24, but if people forget, the appeal should still go smoothly. However, on October 24, it will be mandatory to dial the area code “716” first.

The edge reports that cellular services, such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, now have support pages in place to help explain the changes. This will go for landlines, cell phones and VoIP services.

Cellular services like Verizon say some changes will need to be made to the way you approach phone calls, such as changing your phone’s contacts to the full 10-digit number, if the only one currently has seven numbers.

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