ORLANDO, FLA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Suicide—it’s a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 45 thousand lives each year. For every completed suicide there are 50 others that call 911 or a suicide prevention hotline as a cry for help before or during a suicide attempt. Now there’s a new nationwide number to call … 988 … that will get you the support you need.
“My sibling attempted suicide when I was 7, then my dad, then my daughter,” says Erica Kitzman.
Kitzman can’t remember a time when suicide wasn’t a constant threat to her family, and she is not alone. Every eleven minutes in the United States someone ends their own their life by suicide. In 20-20, 12 million Americans seriously thought about suicide. 3 million planned a suicide attempt and 1 million attempted it.
To help, on July 16th, every state will roll out 9-8-8 as the new national suicide prevention lifeline number. They hope the new number will be as easy to remember as 9-1-1. 9-8-8 can be called from any phone, anywhere. Calls are confidential and free. The 9-8-8 calls will be routed to the already established national suicide prevention hotline where mental health counselors will be available. Experts say if you know someone who is in crisis, get them help immediately and don’t leave them alone.
“The best thing you can say to someone who is suicidal or having suicidal thoughts is that you’re not going to leave him alone,” states Juliet Kirwan Carr, an author.
But the most important thing to realize if you’re feeling suicidal.
“Whatever problem you’re having, the answer is always people. If you feel isolated, the answer is to reach out to people. If you feel shy, the answer is to go and talk,” Carr proclaimed.
The national suicide prevention lifeline has been in operation since 2005. In 2020, the f-c-c- voted to finalize 9-8-8 as the first three-digit number Americans can dial to be connected to the existing lifeline’s network of trained counselors.
Contributor to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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