ST. LOUIS – People in area code 314 must now dial all ten digits of a phone number in order to make a call.   

It’s partly to accommodate the new 9-8-8 number which is the new national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline that starts Saturday. There were more than 1,000 suicides in Missouri last year. This new number is expected to decrease arrests and hospitalizations.

“The 1-800 was long to remember and people would have to go into their computer or on their phone and be like, what is that, while they are handling all the things in their head related to should I take my life,” Missouri Behavioral Health Council’s Youth Services Manager Mikala Jungmeyer-Geiger said.

The move to ten-digit dialing also coincides with the debut of the 557 area code. It’s being added to the region next month because the 314 area is running out of numbers.

Numbers with a 557 area code will be activated on August 12 at the earliest.