New funding allows for Wyoming LifeLine expansion
March 24, 2022
GREYBULL – Effective Saturday, March 19, the Wyoming LifeLine (WYLL) expanded their operating hours from weekdays only to a seven-day-a-week operation.
The expansion, thanks to a recent influx of funding, means those in crisis have a greater chance of reaching a fellow Wyomingite when calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, according to WYLL executive director Ralph Nieder-Westermann.
Nieder-Westermann said, "Callers have a sense of relief when they realize they are speaking with someone else in Wyoming who understands the unique challenges of living in our rural state."
The grants are from Vibrant, the operator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Coverage hours will remain from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. This means that callers who dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) will be routed to the WYLL, located in Greybull, during the hours of 4 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a press release from WYLL
Calls made between 4 p.m. and midnight will be routed to the state's other lifeline operated by Central Wyoming Counseling Center (CWCC) located in Casper. Calls between midnight and 4 a.m. will continue to be answered by national overflow centers.
"With this expansion, in-state coverage will increase from 72% to 83%," said Nieder-Westermann.
When operating Monday through Friday, the Greybull-based WYLL averaged 55 calls per month over the last quarter, fielding crisis calls from 17 of the state's 23 counties.
Further expansion to ensure 24/7 in-state coverage is expected thanks to additional grants from SAMSHA as well as America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding which has recently passed the Wyoming State Legislature.
"The ARPA funding is being used to assist mental health needs and address the impact of the pandemic while contributing to the recovery of residents," said Nieder-Westermann.