ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s 988 crisis support phoneline now offers connections to LGBTQIA+ affirming behavioral health professionals. The state’s Human Services Department (HSD) says the new support will help those in need.

“Linking those in need to compassionate and effective care by expanding access to affirming support for LGBTQIA+ youth is a key step in saving lives, decreasing stigma, rejection, trauma, victimization, microaggressions, homophobia and transphobia,” Neal Bowen, HSD’s director of behavioral health services, said in a news release. “In our early 988 community listening sessions, we heard loud and clear that LGBTQIA+ communities across New Mexico want to know they can trust and count on a safe and supportive crisis response to improve, not worsen the situation — Now they can.”

To connect with the LGBTQIA+ support, callers simply have to press “3” after dialing 988. This will connect callers to specially trained mental health peers. The phone call support is available 24/7.

The 988 crisis support line opened up last year. The idea was to provide quick help for people experiencing mental health crises.

By dialing 988, callers can get help with emotional distress and get connected to local support services. The 988 service also offers text and chat-based help from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. MT daily.

The call line is designed to provide help while avoiding involving the police, according to HSD. More info can be found at 988nm.org.