Another sign of stressful times? The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK), in business less than four years, has answered its one millionth call. Linked to 133 local crisis centers across the nation, it instantly links callers to a counselor closest to their location, 24/7. The hotline is also linked to a special service for veterans and their family members. Hey folks, it ain't that bad. Unless your a Wall Street broker, that is.
A bit flip at the end, but to paraphrase a saying "any time you can get you topic in the paper, it is a good thing". My letter in response:
Thanks for including information about the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in your “Darts& Laurels” November 28, 2008. We need to take advantage of every chance to get out information about suicide and that it is alright to reach out for help if you have thoughts of suicide.
Suicidal thoughts usually have antecedent depressive thoughts, but not always. Taking one’s own life can be an impulsive act on top of that depression, but there is often a time of thought and contemplation. If you can get a handle on that driving toward the “solution” of death, if you can expand your options, realize that there is another way, often death by suicide can be averted. That is what crisis lines are for. They can be quite effective.
Let’s hope that crisis lines can continue to exist in these times of budget cutting. Let’s hope folks realize they can reach out in that way and talk with someone who is willing to listen, help and give a bit of hope. It is often “that bad”. You are seeking deliverance from the pain you feel in your body, in your mind and in your psyche. Seek help. It is OK to get help. You are not “crazy”; seeking help does not mean you are crazy. Sometimes you just need help. National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1.800.273.8255 (TALK))
Richard L Keller, MD