Thursday, August 10, 2006

Suicide Hotline To Shut Down

An email alert from

1-800-SUICIDE Hotline Set to Shut Down on Saturday August 12

August 10, 2006

The nation's largest suicide hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE, is scheduled to go out of service this Saturday, August 12, 2006. There are currently negotiations in progress that may prevent this. However, in the event that these negotiations are not successful, NAMI is issuing this alert to raise public awareness of the alternative for those in need of help.

The alternative number for those in crisis is 1-800-273-TALK. This number will put callers in touch with the federally-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service that has been in operation since January, 2005. It functions as a central switchboard to immediately connect callers to virtually the same network of certified, local crisis centers accessed by 1-800-SUICIDE. So callers can receive counseling or emergency services, if needed, close to home.

All calls to the 1-800-273-TALK Lifeline are private and confidential. Confidentiality of personal information and of personal disclosures during calls is a high priority for the parties involved in operating the Lifeline.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is working with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the entire suicide prevention community to ensure that every call for help during a suicide crisis is answered. Some of the measures being put in place include:

* Ensuring that the entire suicide-prevention community is working the phones and Internet to make sure that all referring agencies know that 1-800-273-TALK is the number to call for suicide intervention.
* Notifying service providers, including directory 411 and 211 operators, that 1-800-SUICIDE is scheduled to go out of service beginning August 12, 2006 and to direct callers to 1-800-273-TALK for help.
* Redirecting callers who call 1-800-SUICIDE to call 1-800-273-TALK through a recording.

As a part of this effort, NAMI will participate in a meeting with SAMHSA and its other partner groups on Friday afternoon, August 11, and we will issue an update afterwards if there is additional information to share.

NAMI urges you to help distribute this alert in your community. Together, we can ensure that every call for help is answered.

Thank you,

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, MSW
Executive Director


Smythe said...

May I post this announcement on my blog???

Jon said...

Please do.


jane said...

This is unbelievable. How can they shut this down?

jane said...

I just read their site & they've gotten a 2 week extension. I've also signed up for their newsletter, so if the # is being shut down, I'll put a post up as well. Thanks for letting us know, Jon

Jon said...

Jane - I think just to be safe, all of us need to check our emergency numbers and replace this number if we have it saved anywhere.