(WEHT)- Gone are the days of remembering or researching the 10-digit number for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline- now Americans experiencing mental or emotional crises only have to remember to call a three-digit number, 9-8-8.

Mental health advocate Andrea Lantz says it should be easier to call, remember, or share to a friend, neighbor, or stranger going through tough times. Lantz says the need for a new, shorter number has rarely been greater, considering the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and an uncertain economic situation.

Still, not everyone is on board with the new number. Some commenters on social media are wary of the new number, saying it could increase instances where law enforcement gets involved in a mental health crisis. However, Dr. Lionel Phelps says the team at RiverValley Behavioral Health in Owensboro, which covers much of the Tri-State area in western Kentucky, has a team of mental health professionals on standby and ready to go anytime, any day. Dr. Phelps says RiverValley rarely calls for law enforcement backup outside of a rare and “very dangerous situation.”

Currently, more than 100 call centers across the nation are connected to the 9-8-8 system, including RiverValley. Dr. Phelps says the program is already working, with a higher influx of calls already since the new number launched earlier in July.