RALEIGH — Getting help during a mental health crisis will soon be as easy as dialing 9-8-8.

North Carolina and the rest of the country are just days away from making mental health and suicide prevention easier to access.

988 replaces the longer 1-800 number tied to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline on Saturday.

The change is coming just in time.  A report from WRAL shows calls to the Suicide Hotline nearing 40 thousand per year.  As of last month, the state has had more than 20 thousand calls.  Last year the hotline received more than 35 thousand and experts expect the 988 number to increase those calls by 30 percent.

The hotline accepts calls, texts, and chats from anyone who needs support for a suicidal, mental health and/or substance use crisis.

NCHHS is using a $3 million federal grant to staff up the state’s call center in Greenville. They’re hiring more crisis counselors to respond by phone and text message.

Many answers to your questions can be found by clicking here.