Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Marks Second Anniversary, Expands to 24/7 Operations

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Marking its second anniversary Wednesday, Nov. 26, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline will expand phone responses to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Trained Idaho phone responders field calls from Idahoans in crisis, connecting them with key resources in their communities, as well as offering follow-up calls to individuals seeking help. 

"It's been a long, challenging but incredibly rewarding journey the past two years to achieve 24/7 suicide hotline response in Idaho," ISPH Executive Director John Reusser stated in a news release. "We couldn't have done it without the support of our amazing funders and community partners, and our dedicated team [of] paid staff, volunteers and interns."

Idaho has the eighth-highest suicide rate in the country, with suicide becoming the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in the state. 

With increased hours of operation, the hotline is always looking for volunteers to undergo training and become crisis phone workers. Both professionals and laypersons are encouraged to contact Nina Leary at 208-258-6992 or via email. Retired mental health professionals are encouraged to become volunteer Phone Room Supervisors. The hotline also needs non-phone volunteers to help with outreach, fundraising and event planning

Volunteer Phone Responders receive more than 40 hours of training and must commit to one four-and-a-half-hour-long hotline shift per week for one year.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK.

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