Sunday, April 24, 2011
Suicide Hotlines Spread Hope
Tulsa, Okla. – The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), or 1-800-273-TALK, opened its’ 150th crisis center this year with Family & Children’s Services in Tulsa, Okla., giving the hotline a presence in 49 states and further hope for those considering suicide.
The NSPL is a free, 24-hour hotline for anyone with serious emotional distress or suicidal thoughts. The new hotline at Family & Children’s Services will be answering calls from the Tulsa County area and help address the 30,000 suicides that take place in the United States every year.
“Being a crisis line worker is about reaching out to those who feel they can’t keep going. Our goal is to let people know they aren’t alone and that there are people out there that care about their well-being,” explained Michelle Vos, volunteer coordinator at the National Runaway Switchboard who works in collaboration with NSPL and other crisis hotlines across the country.
Because suicide rates have tripled in the last 50 years, the role of crisis workers has become more prevalent and prominent. As suicide awareness spreads, via National Suicide Prevention Week or through popular websites like PostSecret that advocates sharing mental health secrets to reduce the stigma attached to them, suicide hotlines and online services will continue to meet the needs of the growing population choosing to seek help.
“Now more than ever we can have conversations that weren’t possible before; we can hear the unheard voices and the untold stories,” said Frank Warren, creator of PostSecret and advocate of another suicide hotline, Hopeline, at a Depaul Univeristy PostSecret event.
The NSPL network welcomes the continued addition of other crisis centers to help address suicide. If your organization is interested, please e-mail the Director of Network Development for the NSPL, Lidia Bernik, at firstname.lastname@example.org.