Donations Bring Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Closer to 24/7 Operation


The United Way of Treasure Valley's Vision Council recently awarded the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline a $50,000 grant, getting the hotline closer to its goal of 24/7 operation, according to a news release. The hotline hopes to be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week by this fall. 

KTVB reported that the hotline received almost 1,000 calls in their first full year (2013). So far for the first half of this year, the hotline has already surpassed that. Right now, any calls that come to the hotline from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. are transferred to another center out of state. But most crisis events happen in the middle of the night, according to Dr. Charles Novak, who works with in-patients at St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus. 

"Most of our admissions to the psychiatric hospitals happen in the middle of the night, in the early morning hours," he told KTVB.

The hotline's executive director said it's easier for people in crisis to talk with someone else in Idaho.

"Almost always they get a phone worker that knows, that's been there, that lived there, that has family there, that can relate to their lived experience as an Idahoan," John Reusser told KTVB. "And Idaho's a different state, we're very rural, very spread out, we have our own unique culture and way of doing things."

The hotline is currently seeking volunteers for its next Phone Responder training on Aug. 2, as well as more donations to help 24/7 operations become a reality.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK.