TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-A three-digit hotline dedicated to helping people during a mental health crisis becomes available July 16, in Idaho and across the country. Beginning Saturday, the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number will direct people to supportive resources and trained crisis personnel 24/7, much like emergency services through 9-1-1. In a blog by Sen. Fred Martin, who sits on the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said he has worked with others in the state and Sen. Mike Crapo, who co-sponsored the legislation, on getting a suicide and crisis hotline. In July of 2020, the Federal Communications Commission designated the new number as a crisis hotline and in 2021 expanded services allowing the ability to text 988 for help. The new three-digit number will eliminate the current ten-digit help line. Sen. Crapo and State Sen. Martin will hold a press conference on Saturday in Twin Falls on the new 988 hotline. In the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 adopted by the Idaho Legislature in 2020, it states that the suicide rate in the state is 41 percent higher than the national rate.

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