ST. PAUL -- Starting Saturday, Minnesota will activate an easy way to find mental health support in a crisis.

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After Saturday, anyone can dial 988 to reach a trained crisis counselor to help them wherever they live.

Mental health officials say there were over 10,000 hospital visits for self-harm injuries in Minnesota from 2016 to 2020.

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm supports the change:

Supporting mental health is a critical public health need, and one of the best ways we can do that is to make it as easy as possible for people to get the help they need when they need it. Our hope is that 988 can be an easier way for people experiencing mental health crises to get support quickly.

The new 988 lifeline will connect callers to one of over 200 call centers, four of which are in Minnesota. The call centers can help connect callers to specific resources quickly.

People can call 988 if they’re worried about a loved one as well.

The change is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s plan to move to a number more people will remember.

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