*A Call2Talk call taker fields calls on the suicide hotline
By Eileen Davis, Call2Talk Director
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time to remember those affected by suicide and raise awareness of this important issue and the impact it has on lives across our communities. It is also a time to promote programs for treatment and/or emotional support for anyone who is struggling.
Thoughts of suicide, like many mental health conditions, can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender, socioeconomic status, or background. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair.”
When mental health conditions are not addressed, suicide risk increases. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for emotional support to our Call2Talk line have increased 15% over last year and 41% of callers express concern or anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic and related concerns. Call2Talk is part of the statewide Mass211 platform which has responded to over 110,000 calls about COVID-19 and related needs.
Call2Talk relies on highly trained volunteer call takers to answer calls and help callers move from a place of emotional crisis to calm. All call takers are trained to recognize and assess suicidal intent and can notify emergency systems and various supports as the situation requires.
Communities with helplines and suicide prevention programs have a reduced burden on first responder services such as 911 and emergency rooms, saving those resources for true acute emergencies. At Call2Talk we promote emotional wellbeing for everyone across Massachusetts. The more we openly engage with National Suicide Prevention Month, the more those impacted will feel less alone and open to reach out for support when needed.
If you or someone you know is having a hard time, Call2Talk is always available:
• Call direct to (508) 532-2255
• Call via Mass211 by dialing 2-1-1 from any cell phone or land line in Massachusetts
• Call through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255
• Text through Crisis Text Line by texting C2T to 741741