Wyoming-based suicide prevention hotline now available
September 10, 2020
A new Wyoming-based suicide prevention lifeline will strengthen the response available for state residents who find themselves in crisis, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
"If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, the right thing to do is to call 911," said Lindsay Martin, Injury and Violence Prevention Program manager with WDH.
"We know talking with someone about your thoughts and feelings can help save your life," Martin said. "With lifeline options, people call or text to discuss lots of things: financial troubles, relationships, sexual identity, depression, illness and loneliness are a few examples."
"We want anyone who is experiencing feelings of crisis or potentially suicidal thoughts to reach out. There are people willing to listen and help, and resources available," Martin said.
Residents in crisis should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper is operating the new Wyoming Lifeline with funding from WDH, which was approved earlier this year by the Wyoming Legislature and Governor Mark Gordon.
Washakie County Prevention Coordinator Lila Jolley said a call center in Greybull is also participating but people should always use the national lifeline to ensure someone will answer.
For now, the Wyoming Lifeline call center will answer calls 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. At other times, calls will be directed to backup call centers located across the country through the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Martin said another option for residents looking for help and support is to text "WYO" to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.
The Wyoming Lifeline call center will be able to knowledgeably refer callers to local community mental health resources. There is no charge for anyone who calls the lifeline number or sends a text to the Crisis Text Line.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a leader in suicide prevention and mental health crisis care. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention for all, including innovative public messaging, best practices in mental health, and groundbreaking partnerships.
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Vibrant Emotional Health launched the Lifeline on January 1, 2005. Vibrant Emotional Health, the administrator of the grant, works with its partners, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), National Council for Behavioral Health, and others, to manage the project, along with Living Works, Inc., an internationally respected organization specializing in suicide intervention skills training.
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH
Suicide is a leading cause of preventable death in Wyoming. The state has historically had one of the highest suicide rates in the nation and was second-highest in 2018.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month and this week is National Suicide Prevention Week.
According to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website, this year's theme is "#BeThe1To" which means the following:
#BeThe1To Ask – Don't be afraid to ask someone if they are considering hurting themselves.
#BeThe1To Be There. Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful by after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.
#BeThe1To Keep Them Safe. Separate people from anything they are thinking of using to hurt themselves.
#BeThe1To Help Them Connect – to a support system such as the lifeline, 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK).
#BeThe1To Follow Up. Make contact with them in the days and weeks after a crisis.