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Crisis hotline on bridge

Source: Steven Clevenger / Getty

This past weekend the United States launched a new three-digit phone number in an effort to make it easier to connect with emergency mental health services.

The new number, 988, replaces the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and Maryland’s 211. Though the new line is now live, the old numbers will also remain operational.

However, the new line will give callers direct and quick access to support for those experiencing a mental or substance abuse crisis. A specialist will be able to provide local resources for every caller.

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The Maryland Department of Health also announced the launch of 988 Monday.

“988 is an easy-to-remember number and an incredibly fast way to get anyone who experiences a behavioral health crisis the help they need right away,” said MDH Secretary Dennis Schrader. “In addition, in Maryland, we are integrating 988 into our existing and expanding crisis system support network.”

For more info, visit the MDH website.