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About Us

You don’t have to be suicidal to contact the hotline; anyone is welcome via phone, text or chat!

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, a program of Jannus, is committed to the prevention of suicide in Idaho.  The hotline provides crisis intervention, emotional support, resource referrals, linkages to local services, and follow-up for all Idahoans, including those at risk for suicide and their families and loved ones.  ISPH listens with support to callers, empowering them to look at options and come up with their own solutions.

Your confidentiality is important to us. Calls to the Hotline may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance or training purposes only.  Hotline staff will only break confidentiality in cases of imminent risk of harm to self or others, or in cases where mandatory reporting requirement standards are met.

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline strives to be a resource for anyone in Idaho experiencing a suicidal or other type of crisis. We accept calls, texts, or chat communications without regard to age, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.

Leadership and Staff

John ReusserIdaho Native and founding Director John Reusser, LCSW, began his career in crisis intervention volunteering at the Crisis Clinic of King County in Seattle, becoming a trainer, paid phone worker and phone room supervisor there before returning to Idaho to work on the Region IV IDHW Mobile Crisis Unit and in the St. Alphonsus emergency department.  He is a member of the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention, a board member of the Livewilder Foundation,  Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition, Contact USA, and a Certified ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Trainer.

Despite attending school to be an elementary school teacher, Clinical Lead Supervisor George Austin found his true career path after he began volunteering with Common Ground, a crisis service agency in his native Michigan in 1994.

During his time at Common Ground, George served in a variety of roles including volunteering on their hotline, supervising hotline volunteers, conducting trainings, coordinating community debriefings after traumatic events, working as a victim advocate and running the agency’s victim assistance program.

George moved to Idaho at the end of 2002 and spent a few years as a stay a home dad to two great kids before he began volunteering and then working on the Idaho Suicide Hotline in 2012.  George is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and is a Certified ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Trainer.

With great honor and enthusiasm, Alex McNish joined the ISPH team in January 2018 as the Volunteer Coordinator. Alex’s background includes raising a family in the Treasure Valley and 20+ years working with mission-driven organizations; most recently with two healthy aging programs sponsored by Jannus: The Foster Grandparent and Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator. Alex enjoys connecting with people and is excited to support our volunteers!

Program Assistant Sharon Lightning came to ISPH in 2016. She previously worked for the Idaho Lives Project as an Evaluation Specialist and Trainer for the Sources of Strength program in Idaho secondary schools and communities. She continues to be a Sources trainer for Idaho Lives and is also now an ASIST Trainer. Sharon brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiastic passion to the Hotline.

Wendy Young came to ISPH as the Development Director after working for over ten years with various nonprofits.  Her nonprofit background includes starting small nonprofits, state and national lobbing/advocacy, working for national foundations, grant writing, and fund development.  She currently works to create and implement vibrant and sustainable development strategies for ISPH. 

Our Partners in Suicide Prevention

Idaho Division of Veteran’s Services
United Way (Kootenai County, Southeast Idaho, & Treasure Valley)
Idaho Legislature
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
Idaho Lions
Wells Fargo
Saint Alphonsus Health System
Jeret ‘Speedy’ Peterson Foundation

Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition
Ada County Paramedics Association
Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho
St. Luke’s Health System
JA and Kathryn Albertson’s Foundation
The Redside Foundation