Didi Hirsch Adds Spanish Suicide Hotline

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services announced today that as of July 1, the Suicide Prevention Center will provide suicide prevention crisis hotline services to the Hispanic population. The Spanish-language service will be available to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention program is the 11th center to join the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Spanish sub-network, with over 145 centers nationwide. 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.

Dr. Kita Curry, President and CEO of Didi Hirsch, anticipates a dramatic increase in calls from the Latino community as word about the crisis line gets out. “We know there is a great unmet need. Immediately after our staff are interviewed on Spanish-language radio or TV, calls to the crisis line double.” She added that the need seems to be growing. “Our suicide crisis response team, which offers immediate support at the scene of suicides, helped many more Latino families last year than the year before.”

“Adding 24-hour Spanish-language capacity to our system’s premier suicide hotline brings Los Angeles County closer to providing the culturally competent care our residents need and deserve,” said Marvin Southard, DSW, Director, County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health.

Founded in 1958, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center was the first program 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. Each year, over 36,000 callers reach out for help from the 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.

With more than 60 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services provides mental health and substance abuse services in Los Angeles County, regardless of ability to pay. Its nine sites serve more than 57,000 clients a year, from Pacoima to Venice to South Los Angeles to the Downtown area, and many points in between. The Center offers a wide range of services through four divisions — Emergency Services, Adult Services, Family Services, and Substance Abuse Services. Please visit www.didihirsch.org for more information.

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