As we continue to bring awareness to mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month, we're taking the moment to remember an important lifeline, 988. 

Leaders of Help Network Northeast Ohio want people to know they are here to listen, and a simple dial can save a life.

988 is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, adopted by Help Network of Northeast Ohio in recent years.

Help Network said every day, an average of 300 people locally call the Help Network Youngstown, whether it be 988, or the non-emergency line, 211.

"Many times when people call the crisis line, they don't know where to start, so they will often say, 'I'm not sure if I should be calling. I don't know if this is really an emergency,'" Chief Clinical Officer of Help Network of Northeast Ohio, Megan Pryor-Hazlett, said, "Just start with whatever you were thinking about that had you pick up the phone."

No two calls are the same, and no reason to make a call is too insignificant. 

Pryor-Hazlett said more often than not, those who call the 988 are considering taking their life but looking for someone to help them navigate challenges that are making them feel that way.

"...Anywhere from teenagers having a bad fight with their parents," 988 Coordinator and Director of Referral Services of 988/211, Crystal Jennings, said, "People are in crisis for food, rent, really money...that could lead to a crisis."

What starts as a conversation, can end with an improved headspace, and a plan to tackle the days ahead.

"We don't judge. We don't criticize. Any call, anything that you consider as a crisis to you and your family, you can call in," Jennings said, "We're here for everyone."

Pryor-Hazlett and Jennings said agents are trained to help deescalate some of the intensity of what those in crises are going through.

Those who take these calls are in this line of work because of their own unique experiences, Pryor-Hazlett added.

Whether it's experiences involving family, friends or themselves, she said they've had similar feelings, serving as a motivator to save others.

"We've had people call back the next day and say she's [an agent] a guardian angel," she said, "This was someone that was extremely close to death, and they picked up the phone  and they got the right person on the other end."

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or in any kind of mental health crisis, call 9-8-8.

If you or someone you know needs non-emergency information about mental health support, call 2-1-1.