COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Starting this Saturday, a new, easier means of getting help for those with mental and emotional problems goes online all across the country.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Service joins other agencies in offering a nationwide Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing the numbers 988 on your phone.

Callers will be connected to trained counselors at one of 19 answering points across the state. Directors compare the change to the implementation of 911 years ago, which allowed callers to get help no matter where they are.

“The number remains the same, and that is vitally important to somebody who is in crisis,” said Doug Jackson, Ohio 988 administrator. “Not to have to think what the number is or do research, they know the number. They know they can call it. They know they can get help.”

While call takers will be able to handle most situations over the phone, they will also be able to send help in-person in those cases that require it.

While the first year of the 988 system will be federally funded, directors will work with state lawmakers to underwrite it in the future.