Calls to Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988 number continue rising
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - With September being Suicide Prevention Month, many mental health officials are asking people to check in on those around them.
Mental health officials say that calls to both the “HELP4WV” line and the new 988 suicide and crisis helpline are increasing in the Mountain state.
First Choice Services marketing director, Sheila Moran says that as the amount of suicides in West Virginia are “leveling off,” many people are using these services to help ease any suicidal ideation a caller might have.
Moran says that the higher call volume is a good thing.
“Because it means more people are reaching out for help. We can just see in the month in June to July where there was the switch over to the easy to remember ‘988,’ calls went up significantly,” says Moran. “We had two hundred more calls in July than we did in June. And something like a 218 percent increase in chats and texts year over year after this change took place. So, we know that the messaging is working and people know that they can reach out for help
Moran says that many of the people that work at these call centers are using exercises to help callers stay centered.
Some of these include breathing exercises, counting backwards, or grounding.
If you are feeling any suicidal ideation, you can call either of these numbers: The addiction and mental health helpline is 1-844-HELP4WV and the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is 988.
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