EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – Since the suicide prevention and crisis lifeline shortened to 9-8-8 in July of 2022, officials say the amount of callers is on the rise.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the leading causes of death in the United States is Suicide.
Vice President of community outreach and education, Emily Reidford says decreasing the stigmas around mental health has encouraged more people to reach out in times of need.
“We’re encouraging people to reach out earlier and more often,” said Reidford. “So, you are going to see an uptick in crisis calls when people are feeling like they’re overwhelmed and they don’t have anywhere to turn”
Officials say about 80% of callers get their crisis resolved over the phone.
Reidford says the other 15 to 20 percent of callers are referred to local mental health resources like Easterseals Rehabilitation Center and Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare after reaching out to the lifeline.
The reasons for an increase in call volume goes beyond seasonal mental health issues, Reidford says.
“What we’re seeing is an increase level of stress that people are having and that’s playing a part in people’s everyday life,” said Reidford.
Officials say in Indiana anywhere from 35 to 40 deaths occur by suicide.
Reidford says other statistics hold just as much significance. Reidford says there isn’t much ‘good data’ available that discusses statistics related to the amount of people helped, utilizing the lifeline or seeking other options instead of suicide.
Reidford says since 2023 just started, state mental health statistics are still being gathered.
Data on mental health statistics like total suicides reported and how many people received care are still rolling in, she says the data will help check for patterns and other ways the state can provide care.
If you need help Call 9-8-8 or someone you know if you are in a crisis and are in need of mental health care.
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