Facebook Twitter

Opinion: The Suicide Prevention Lifeline needs help — here’s what we can do

Calls are increasing to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. What can we do to ensure that everyone is receiving help?

SHARE Opinion: The Suicide Prevention Lifeline needs help — here’s what we can do
A hand hold a phone with a yellow case with the thumb poised to tap the screen.

On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be reachable at a three-digit number: 988. An expected higher volume of calls will require more funding for call centers to provide help.

Jenny Kane, Associated Press

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As a volunteer and advocate with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I ask everyone to join us and demand more for mental health.

My son died by suicide in September 2019. If there is anything I can do to prevent others from enduring this tragedy, it is time well spent. My wife and I facilitate a suicide survivor support group and consider efforts like this our way of ensuring our son’s memory lives on.

I am calling on my legislators at the federal and state levels to support legislation that will fund the implementation of 988. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255 and de-escalates the crises of tens of thousands of callers each day. On July 16, the Lifeline will be reachable through a three-digit number: 988.

By making the Lifeline more accessible, calls, texts and chats to crisis call centers are expected to increase. It is vital that the federal government work with states to ensure callers in distress have someone to call, someone to come help and somewhere safe to go.

We need funding to equip call centers and community crisis response services throughout the country with the staff and resources to respond to everyone in crisis.

Gregory Smith

Sandy

Suicide prevention resources

Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Crisis hotlines
  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-691-5433.
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000.
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386.

Online resources