Call centers leader speaks on resources available in Mass. during National Suicide Prevention Week
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, an annual campaign to educate people about the warning signs of suicide and spread awareness about available resources.
Vice President of Massachusetts 2-1-1 and director of Call2Talk, Eileen Davis said the goal of this week is to remind people that it’s okay to reach out and ask for help if they’re struggling.
“Suicide prevention week has been around since 2008, yet suicide as an issue still exists. Suicide attempts exist. There’s 44,000 deaths by suicide in this country every year, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations in attempts. So we just want people to know that help is available,” Davis said.
She explained that one of the best and easiest resources for people across the country to access is the new 9-8-8 number that rolled out this summer. Her organization helps answer and respond to these calls, which are free and available 24-7 in any language.
“They’ll talk to trained call takers who are trained to listen, actively engage with them, help them problem-solve, seek options, but in the event there’s a crisis, they’re also able to potentially connect callers to additional resources in their areas,” said Davis.
Davis said that initially, the line was very busy but has since slowed.
They’re expecting an increase in volume this fall, as school starts back up and the weather gets colder. She said they’re constantly balancing their capacity to answer to ensure minimal wait times.
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