Less than three months after its launch, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is expanding its hours. Starting today volunteers will take calls Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
So far, the suicide hotline has taken about 160 calls since November. Executive Director John Reusser says there’s no question the hotline has helped many Idahoans in crisis.
Reusser says the hotline’s next goal is to launch a marketing campaign to connect with people around the state. That campaign will likely begin next week.
“You don’t have to be suicidal to call the hotline," Reusser says. "Anyone in crisis is welcome to call – if you just want to talk, you need emotional support or resource referrals we can provide all of those things.”
Right now, if someone calls the hotline after 5 p.m. they will be connected with an out-of-state crisis line. Reusser says it’s important to have someone to talk to who can identify with Idaho’s unique culture.
“Our goal is to expand from 5 p.m.-midnight," says Reusser. "We’re working on figuring out how to come up with ongoing supervision for those shifts we want to expand into.”
But before the hotline can expand further, the organization will need more money to hire additional supervisors.
The statewide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
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