Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline

telephone, buttons, hotline
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is expanding its services by adding an additional phone line for people to call in crisis.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the new phone number will also accept text messages Mondays through Fridays, between 3 p.m. and midnight. Organizers announced the additional services on Monday.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A national suicide prevention organization and several Idaho groups with the same mission plan to spend Thursday trying to convince Idaho lawmakers to implement four recommendations. Those recommendations are the top priorities from a twelve-point suicide prevention plan created last year by the Idaho Health Quality Planning Commission.

The HQPC is a group of healthcare professionals, insurance industry reps and academics that advises Idaho lawmakers on ways to improve healthcare. It has identified suicide as one of the biggest public health threats facing Idaho. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The call center at the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline could be a room in any number of businesses. There are four desks, each with a computer and a phone. But the overhead fluorescents are off and the soft light from a few lamps makes it feel more like a therapist’s office. A woman is talking on the phone to someone who says a friend is posting suicidal thoughts on Facebook.

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Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline has received one of its largest grants to date. The nonprofit has been awarded $100,000 from the Idaho Division of Veteran’s Services. The hotline, which started almost three years ago, has grown to a 24/7 service for people dealing with a variety of mental health issues – including suicide.

telephone, buttons, hotline
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

If you need help, you can contact the hotline by dialing 1-800-273-TALK.

When people in crisis dial the Idaho Suicide Hotline, starting Wednesday, they'll reach someone close to home. The service is marking its second anniversary by expanding to 24-7 coverage.

Sint Smeding / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline (ISPH) is one step closer to being a fulltime crisis line. 

Thursday hotline staff announced they received a $50,000 grant from the United Way of the Treasure Valley. ISPH Executive Director John Reusser says the award will go a long way in helping the hotline become a 24/7 resource. He says the United Way first gave them funds when they started in 2012. 

"The United Way has been very supportive," says Reusser. "This donation will help fund operations as we get through the last leg of expansion."

telephone, buttons, hotline
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

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.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The inaugural Boise Beardsmen Beard and Mustache Championships packed the house Saturday night at the Red Room. Men sporting bushy beards and twisted mustaches worked the rowdy crowd. They were judged in several categories including "Full Beard" and "Freestyle Beard." Female Beardsmen competed in the "Whiskerina" section. 

Michael Caroe Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

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.