(ABC4) – As of July 16, The National Suicide Prevention hotline will be officially changed from 1-800-273-TALK to 988. 

The main goal of the new hotline is to make finding help as fast and easy as possible. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) noted the hotline will cater to those “hoping for immediate crisis care.”

Today, quick mental health care is more important than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Utah has seen an exponentially high suicide rate throughout recent years.

Overall, World Population Review ranks the Beehive State No. 6 in terms of the states with the highest suicide rate per 100,000 residents. Utah has a suicide rate of 20.8. In 2020 alone, Utah reported 651 deaths by suicide per every 100,000 residents. For comparison, the state with the highest suicide rate, Wyoming, has a suicide rate of 30.5, while the state with the lowest suicide rate, New Jersey, has a rate of 7.1.

AFSP initially acknowledged the switch back in early June on Instagram, writing that the community’s support of the change “will ensure there’s someone to answer the call, someone to come help, and some place to go for care.” 

For the launch of this project, AFSP has teamed up with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, the Faith Fight Finish Foundation, and Solomon Thomas of The Defensive Line foundation.