Since the end of October, Idaho's Suicide Prevention hotline has fielded more than 800 calls. Now, the year-old hotline is expanding its hours of operation and may soon receive national accreditation.
The suicide prevention hotline continues to see an upward trend in the number of people calling for support. Currently, volunteers from Idaho answer the phone from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Outside those hours, all calls to 1-800-273-TALK are answered by people out of state.
This week, the hotline will expand its hours on Thursday and Friday to 1:00 a.m. The hotline plans to add more late night shifts and weekends to the schedule in early 2014, when the next group of volunteers is trained.
Hotline Executive Director John Reusser says the hotline's goal is to provide around-the-clock local coverage before the end of next year.
Idaho's suicide hotline closed in 2006 but was reinstated in November 2012. The hotline offers emotional support, crisis intervention, links to local services and follow-up for those who show suicide risk factors. In 2010, Idaho had the sixth-highest suicide rate in the country.
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