WEST VIRGINIA (WTRF) — A major step was taken last year to make mental services quickly available in a crisis.

The phone number to call changed to just three digits, 9-8-8.

Since then calls have been steady at the lifeline in West Virginia.

But texts and chats are on the rise.

The 988 lifeline will soon get a funding boost to reach more people.

Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito announced more than $450,000 that’s going to the program. It will be used to create partnerships with 911 centers and other agencies that can work with the 988 lifeline in case a caller needs follow-up services.

“I think you’ve seen a real shift in the last few years. People are taking mental health just as seriously as physical health and people understand that crisis services, mental health services, services for people who are feeling suicidal are absolutely crucial.”

Sheila Moran, Director of Communications and Marketing

Some of the money will also go to outreach, making sure people know the 988 lifeline is there and how to access it.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 or visit the mental health website.