This supplemental grant is the first in the history of the Lifeline. Didi Hirsch will use the funds to increase the capacity of its 24-hour crisis line and to follow-up with callers who are at high risk of suicide.
“Research has shown that ongoing economic stress can significantly increase depression and anxiety, which in turn increases the risk of suicide,” said Dr. Kita Curry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. “Calls to our Crisis Line have almost doubled since 2007. Last year, over 36,000 people reached out for help by calling our Crisis Line.”
Through its national toll-free number (1-800-273-TALK), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ensures that every caller is connected to the closest crisis center available. It awarded grants to 20 of its more than 140 suicide prevention crisis centers around the United States to meet increased demands for their services as a result of the economic downturn.
“We are especially grateful for this grant, because it coincides with our launch of a 24-hour Spanish language line, which will further increase our call volume.” Curry added.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided the Lifeline network with supplemental funds for one year to support crisis centers responding to growing community needs in this troubled economic environment. SAMHSA required the Lifeline to conduct a competitive application process among its network of crisis centers. A total of 53 centers met eligibility requirements for the 20 available grants.
About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services:
A program of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, the Suicide Prevention Center is more than 50 years old and was one of the first programs in the nation to establish a 24-hour suicide prevention Crisis Line. The line serves callers from all over California, as well as nationwide, and is managed by staff and trained volunteers. Last year, over 36,000 people reached out for help and called the crisis hotline. The Suicide Prevention Center also provides support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide, outreach and training to the community, and a Suicide Response Team that works with the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team, the coroner’s office and local police and fire departments to provide immediate support at the scene of a suicide.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, the hotline is there to help. Don’t wait. Hope surrendered can be a life lost. There are people who care, and people who can help.