PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A three-digit number will soon be all it takes for people in distress to get the help they need.

A new hotline, 988, goes live on Saturday, July 16, and aims to help those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.

The hotline routes callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and connects them with trained counselors who will listen to callers’ problems, provide support and refer them to available resources.

People can also text or chat 988 to seek help.

The main Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) remains active.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed co-authored the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act which sought to designate 988 as a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. He said it was crucial to trim the number from 10 digits to three so it’s easier to reach when someone is in trouble.

“One of the unfortunate aspects of this is we’re seeing more and more young people who are being diagnosed or being identified with these suicidal tendencies,” Reed said. “That’s why, to me, this 988 number is more important. It can allow a mother or father or even a young person to pick up the phone and get some help.”

Anyone who’s experiencing a life-threatening emergency and is in need of immediate help should still call 911.