LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States plan to gather at the state capitol, Tuesday, March 15.

According to officials with the organization, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death across the country back in 2020 and the 10th leading cause in the state of Michigan.

While the state does have a number of resources for mental health, the group is asking for more and its main topic of discussion with lawmakers is the need for local suicide crisis call centers.

According to the organization, the centers are needed, as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be offering a 3 digit phone number starting in July, which will be 988.

As of right now, if one is in need of suicide or mental health help here in Michigan, one would need to dial a 10 digit 1-800 number, 1-800-273-8255

“Having a three-digit number is going to allow people to have better access, to the crisis line,” Vicky Mennare, Co-Chair of Directors for AFSP said. “It’s going to give people a faster response, we are anticipating an increased number of calls, once this becomes in effect in July.”

The organization says, in 2020, 73.1% of the United States did not have enough mental health providers to serve residents, according to federal guidelines.

This year, AFSP recognizes 35 years of service to the cause, and hopes that their lobbying will help state officials see the need for change and resources to help save lives.