BOISE, Id. (June 18, 2014)
The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK) continues to expand hours toward 24/7 coverage ahead of schedule, having added Saturdays to its existing 9 am to 1 am Monday- Friday hours.
With expanded hours that began this Saturday June 14, trained Idaho phone responders are fielding more calls from Idahoans who are in crisis or suicidal — and connecting them with key resources in their local communities. The hotline also offers follow-up calls to individuals seeking help.
ISPH plans to add Sundays and overnight shifts in the Fall of 2014 when its next cohorts of volunteers are trained. Outside of ISPH operating hours, calls to 1-800-273-TALK (8255) are answered by crisis centers in other states.
Says hotline Executive Director John Reusser: “Our volunteers have handled 2200+ calls since ISPH launched in November 2012. Thanks to the support of all Idahoans we remain ahead of schedule in progressing toward our goal of round the clock coverage before the end of this year.”
The hotline offers callers:
- Emotional support
- Assessment of suicide risk
- Crisis intervention to those in imminent danger
- Linkages to local services
- Follow-up for those who exhibit suicide risk factors
Addressing a statewide problem
- Idaho has the sixth-highest suicide rate in the U.S.
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in Idaho.
After multi-sector collaboration throughout the Gem State, the ISPH opened in November 2012 — providing much-needed support for individuals at risk for suicide.
The ISPH team trains volunteers — laypersons or professionals — to become trained crisis phone responders and is actively recruiting for its next training cycle which begins August 2nd. Volunteers receive approximately 42 hours of training and apprenticeship, and commit to one 4 ½-hour hotline shift per week for one year, and can earn a Certified Crisis Worker credential after one year’s service.
To learn more, call 208-258-6992 or visit the ISPH webpage