The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is made up of an expansive network of over 170 local- and state-funded crisis centers located across the United States, including Foundation 2. The counselors at local crisis centers answer Lifeline calls and chats from people in distress every day. The Lifeline’s crisis centers provide the specialized care of a local community with the support of a national network.
Calls to the Lifeline are routed to their closest center based on area code, with the goal of connecting callers to counselors in their own state. Local counselors at crisis centers are familiar with community mental health resources, and can therefore provide referrals to local services.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with 47,173 people having died by suicide in 2017 alone. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that in 2017, 479 Iowans died by suicide.
Implementing a three-digit number to connect callers to help in suicidal crisis will save lives. It is important that this project is adequately funded to allow the 170 crisis centers who are a part of the Lifeline to coordinate staffing to respond to the increase in calls.
Learn more about the proposed three-digit crisis hotline from this article in The Hill.