Phone in hand Many of those working in the mental health industry hope the new number will also drive awareness of mental health issues and make Americans more comfortable talking about it.

Access to mental health services has been an ongoing issue for many Americans, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the need for such services. A new bill signed by President Trump aims to fix that by creating a three-digit number, akin to 911, for mental health emergencies: 988.

“A national three-digit number will make it far easier for millions of Americans to reach out for help and get immediate connection to care when they’re experiencing a mental health or suicidal crisis,” Kimberly Williams, president and CEO of Vibrant Emotional Health, the organization that runs the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, told NPR. “Most importantly, 988 will help save lives.”

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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