The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports 638 completed suicides for 2016. In the same year there were 3,967 hospital discharges and 7,180 emergency department visits for non-fatal self-inflicted injuries.
Despite these statistics, many mental health professionals cannot accept additional clients, day programs are at capacity and in-patient units have a reduced number of beds. The need for mental health and emotional support has never been more critical.
Communities with helplines demonstrate a reduced burden to first responders for self-inflicted injuries. The United Way of Tri-County founded the Call2Talk program in 2014 to provide a confidential and lifesaving service which offers support to people experiencing emotional distress or potential suicidal ideation and have nowhere else to turn.
Call2Talk is the Mental health helpline of Mass2-1-1, the statewide human service information and referral platform powered by your local United Way. Call2Talk answers calls through Mass2-1-1, its direct telephone line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It also answers texts in partnership with Crisis Text Line.
Besides its primary function as a helpline, Call2Talk also provides the following:
TeleCheck – A phone check-in service for elder adults operated in partnership with BayPath Elder Services and Advocates, Inc. Trained call-takers contact seniors weekly to provide support and friendly conversation following sudden life changes.
MetroWest LOSSteam – The MetroWest LOSSteam works with area police departments to offer immediate on-site peer emotional support to suicide loss survivors. (in Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Sherborn, and Sudbury)
Community Education – Call2Talk offers best practice awareness trainings for community members and agencies including: Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training, Mental Health First Aid, safeTalk and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).