Suicide Hotline reaches 4 year mark; adds combined crisis text & 208 area code number
Hotline celebrates 4 years of continuous operations; adds combined crisis text and local voice call number to better serve Idahoans
BOISE, ID. (December 5, 2016)
The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline (ISPH) turned 4 years old on Saturday November 26, helping over 14,000 callers since launch and fielding 5,400 calls this year alone. When it launched in 2012, ISPH initially had just 18 trained volunteers, and operated Monday- Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm. It achieved 24/7 operations in 2014, and currently has 75 trained volunteers in service. Since launch, hotline volunteers have contributed over 40,500 hours of their time, representing an in-kind value of over $728,000. This year the State of Idaho committed to funding 60% of ongoing hotline operations. The remaining 40% comes from a diverse mix of funding partners and individual donors.
ISPH has launched a new local area code number: 208-398-HELP (4357) to supplement its existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network (NSPL) number, 1-800-273- TALK (8255). This local area code number provides voice call response 24/7 and crisis text response between the hours of 3 pm and midnight, Monday- Friday The new number allows Idaho callers with out of state (non-208 area code) cell phones to dial ISPH directly. Currently, non-208 area code phone calls to ISPH through the National Lifeline Network are routed to the center in the Lifeline network associated with that area code. ISPH is working with the NSPL to ensure calls from Idaho’s new 986 area code will be routed to Idaho Responders as well. Says Director John Reusser, “We are grateful for the amazing support we’ve had since launch, and excited to be providing crisis text response to better reach young people in Idaho. Our additional number and text service will make it easier for all Idahoans to find a compassionate person when in need. Remember: You don’t have to be suicidal to contact the hotline, anyone in crisis is welcome to reach out.”