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Greenville call center preparing for more calls as National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number changes

A Greenville-based not-for-profit that operates the N.C. Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center has added more staff to handle an increase in call volume as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitions to a new, three-digit number. Beginning Saturday, people experiencing a mental health crisis can dial 9-8-8 to reach the lifeline and get immediately connected to trained crisis counselors. According to a news release, the new number is expected to bring up to 30% more calls per year because it’s easier to remember and access. REAL Crisis Intervention Inc., along with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has operated the call center in Greenville since 2012. It provides trained crisis counseling and connects callers to local services based on their needs. Along with the number change, a 24/7 chat and text response feature will be added. NCDHHS has received more than $4.6 million in state and federal grants to facilitate the transition and operate the center.