“Like a Busy Emergency Room”: Calls to Suicide Crisis Centers Double Since 2014
August 17, 2018
Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline doubled between 2014 and 2017. The federally funded crisis hotline includes a network of more than 150 local call centers in addition to national backup centers. Together, they received more than two million calls in 2017, up from one million in 2014. Trained staff and volunteers respond to calls from people in crisis, and in some cases provide follow-up support to those recently discharged from hospitals or mental health facilities. The increase in call volume may be partly due to increased awareness that the service is available, thanks to communication campaigns and other forms of outreach. “Due to media events and increased public awareness of suicide prevention and the Lifeline’s services, more people are aware of this resource and are getting help and support,” said spokesperson Frances Gonzalez. “The lifeline has been proven to de-escalate moments of crisis and help people find hope.”
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