Nassau residents will need to use area code to make local calls starting next week
It will soon take a few more digits to make a local call for Nassau County residents.
Starting Oct. 24, callers will have to dial the full 10-digit phone number within the local 516 area code.
People will no longer be able to make a call using seven digits anymore as the nation’s telephone system looks to start a three-digit National Suicide Prevention and Mental Crisis emergency number. That number would be 988 and is expected to start taking calls in July 2022.
Currently when someone needs to call a suicide or mental help line there is a standard 800 number.
On Long Island, some of those calls are answered by counselors at the Response Crisis Center in Stony Brook.
“When you are having a mental health crisis or an emotional crisis or a life crisis it deserves an appropriate response,” says Meryl Cassidy, who works at the center.
She says it will be easy to remember because it’s near 911 on the phone
The 516 area code is one of dozens of others across the country to switch to 10-digit dialing to accommodate the new hotline. The express number would not work if Nassau stayed with seven-digit dialing.
Some Long Islanders say they are worried about reprogramming their phone contacts or speed dials.
“All of these things are supposed to make your life easier and it makes life more difficult,” says Bill Romano.
Others say they aren’t bothered by the change.
“Communication is great with all the phones and everything else, so pushing a couple extra buttons isn’t a big deal,” says Michael Rittenhouse.
Nassau County residents are also set to get a second area code number because they are running out of 516 numbers.
News 12 is told it will go into operation in June 2023 at the latest. The new area code is not yet known.