Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Sees Increased Traffic
There are numerous ways for Idahoans to reach out for emotional support.
Now, we're finding it's needed more than ever.
Officials of Idaho's Suicide Prevention Hotline said Monday that they're experiencing a higher than normal influx of both calls and texts to the service.
The hotline is designed to help those not only struggling with suicidal thoughts, but also those in need of different kinds of emotional support. Officials say only three text messages were received in October of last year. This January, over 70 text messages were received.
Why the increase in activity for the Suicide Hotline? It's difficult to pin down one single cause, but the hotline's director John Reusser says it's highly likely one of two things: The election and the weather.
The election day was a big change for a lot of people. Our calls just kind of started going up around Election Day. Election Day was a high call volume day for us.
Reusser says more and more Idahoans are opting to use the hotlines text service as a means to reach out for help. He also expects people using the hotline to increase exponentially in 2017. If you or someone you know needs to contact the suicide prevention hotline, please call or text 208-398-HELP.
We reported in January that the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is looking for volunteers, and that's still the case. It takes about 50 hours of training, and shadowing a counselor in order to participate.
If you'd like to get involved with suicide prevention, but don't necessarily want to volunteer for the hotline, today is Idaho Suicide Prevention Advocasy Day.
If you're wondering if you or a loved one could be suicidal, there are sure-fire signs to look for. This list compiled by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention tells you what to look out for.