LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A new three-digit hotline is now available for Michiganders in crisis that need to call for help.

Michigan citizens now have access to the 988-dialing code, which will put them in touch with a trained crisis counselor.

The number utilizes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network of more than 200 crisis call centers.

“The 988 number is another step toward strengthening and transforming crisis care and mental health services in our state, which is a key focus of the department,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2020, Congress designated the 988-dialing code to operate through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline This action expands its reach from people who are feeling suicidal to all individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, including suicidal thoughts or substance abuse issues.

“Crisis is defined by the caller,” said Debra Pinals, medical director for Behavioral Health and Forensic Programs at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “And by providing an easy-to-remember number we are making help more accessible and strengthening support to those in need.”

The 988-dialing code does not replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) or other locally operated crisis lines.

For more information, visit the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and Michigan Crisis & Access Line.