$75,000, in the form of two operation grants, will allow the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline to expand its hours.
Operators of the hotline announced this morning that the grants—each for $37,500—came from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation and St. Luke's Health System.
Beginning Monday, July 1, the hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK, will be staffed with Idaho responders from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The extended hours will also allow local responders to follow-up on previous calls that were seeking help. Outside of those hours, the hotline will be forwarded to a trained national team of responders.
The ISPH, which reopened in November 2012, reminds us that Idaho has the sixth-highest suicide rate in the United States and suicide is the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in Idaho.
ISPH is in ongoing need for volunteers to become trained crisis phone workers. Volunteers receive approximately 32 hours of training and apprenticeship and commit to one 4-and-a-half hour hotline shift per week for one year.