JOPLIN, Mo. — A new update is providing easier access to mental health services across the country.

Starting Saturday people will now be able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by simply dialing 9-8-8.

The new number is meant to help those undergoing a crisis to quickly connect with crisis specialists at places like the Ozark Center with Freeman Health System.

It can be anything from an emotional crisis to stress, depression, suicide, or simply needing to talk to someone.

“We’re hoping that 988 will make it really for people to receive help because what we know in the United States in 2020 a US citizen died by suicide over the span of 11 minutes, and so we want to make it easy for people to be able to reach out to someone 24 hours a day to get immediate assistance. We’re really hoping 988 will decrease the stigma surrounding mental health or behavioral health or addictions, and that people will feel comfortable with calling right away and getting someone who can help,” says Debbie Fitzgerald, Ozark Center Director of Crisis Services.

The Ozark Center has added additional staff to help manage Crisis Services.

It says call volume could possibly increase 300 percent with the number change.