Conn. (WTNH) — Mental health has been top of mind throughout the pandemic. Now, an easy to reach crisis contact center is available, offering 24/7 access.

If you or a loved one needs help, you can simply call or text 9-8-8. Those three digits replace the harder to remember 10-digit number required in the past.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline was formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In Connecticut, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Children fund the Connecticut 988 Contact Center, operated by the United Way of Connecticut/211.

Not only will you be speaking to someone live, but they’ll be able to direct callers to someone who’s actually in Connecticut for help.

“You can call if you’re in distress, or call if someone you love is in distress,” Tanya Barrett, senior vice president for the Health and Human Service Lifeline said. “In Connecticut, we have a wide array of crisis intervention response options. People who call 988 have access to mobile crisis services, both on the youth side and the adult side.”

Barrett said it’s critical that those in crisis not only get the telephone support, but to also have a live clinician come out to wherever they are. She said they feel the increase they are seeing is a trend that will continue as more people hear about 988 and become aware of its services.