Thursday, February 14, 2013

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Expands Local Operation

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM

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The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline—1-800-273-TALK—will be fully staffed Friday as the service expands its local hours of operation to five days a week: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When the hot line resumed its Idaho service in November, the launch marked the end of a six-year period in which Idaho was the only state in the nation without a certified suicide crisis hot line. Callers were instead pushed to counselors from out of state.

In November, ISPH staffed its phone bank Mondays through Thursdays. But hot line officials announced Wednesday that they now have additional trained volunteer phone responders, allowing the operation to take calls five days per week.

Since its relaunch, ISPH has logged more than 160 calls from all regions of Idaho.

ISPH officials said each volunteer has pledged at least one year of service to the organization.

"You don’t have to be suicidal to call the Hotline; anyone in crisis, in search of resources or just needing someone to talk to is welcome to call,” said John Reusser, director of ISPH.

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