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Callers in 513, 859 area codes will have to dial 10 digits for local calls

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Posted at 7:48 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 21:28:47-04

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio — Gone are the days of dialing seven numbers for a call to local friends, family or businesses. Starting this weekend, anyone in the 513 and 859 area codes in Kentucky and Ohio will have to dial their area code for all local calls.

The change is in preparation for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's new number. Similar to dialing 911 for emergencies, people across the country will be able to dial 988 to reach the lifeline. Since 513 and 859 area codes have some seven-digit numbers that begin with 988, the Federal Communications Commission will require 10-digit dialing for local calls.

Penny Middaugh with Greater Cincinnati Behavior Health Services works closely with the crisis response team, a group specially trained to support people in a mental health crisis.

"It's so important to respond quickly," Middaugh said. "Having somebody that's available, having somebody in the community that's available to speak to and to support you when you're going through this kind of really hard time in your life, that's extremely important."

Middaugh helped get a federal certified community behavioral health clinic grant in 2020 allowing the group to work with its partners to expand the Clermont County Mobile Crisis Team to be available 24/7 all year. She said the increase in use shows how important services like the lifeline are.

"Because we've been able to expand the hours to 24/7, there has been a 78% increase in the use of that service," Middaugh said.

The new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number does not go into effect until July 2022, so anyone in a crisis is asked to still call 1-800-273-8255. The Clermont County Crisis Hotline is 513-528-7283.