Suicide Hotline Research Project Releases Final Report
Acknowledging that suicide is a significant public health concern for Idaho, the State entered into a contract with Idaho State University's Institute of Rural Health to prepare a report identifying how a suicide crisis phone line could be established and maintained. Idaho is the only state in the nation without a certified hotline and has suicide rates higher than most other states.
Idaho State University has completed a new report to assist decision makers as they design and implement a hotline in Idaho. The report titled Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline: Analysis of Options for Decision Making, examines the benefits of a suicide prevention hotline, infrastructure needs and costs and operator training, and evaluates accreditation standards. Plans for financial sustainability and marketing also are included. Call volume and cost estimates provide a basis for calculating where a hotline could be housed and what the price tag would be for each type of configuration.
Did you know?
- Idaho consistently ranks among the top states for its rate of suicide
- Idaho's highest suicide rates are in rural and frontier counties where mental health services are limited
- In 2008 there were 251 suicides in Idaho
- Average cost per case of suicide in Idaho is $1.37 million in lost productivity and $3,434 in medical costs
- Idaho ranks 47th in the nation for public mental health spending per capita
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Idaho's young people and the rate of suicide increases with age
- Suicide hotlines have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing suicidality and identifying options to increase help-seeking.
- In a national study, 12% of hotline callers spontaneously reported that the call saved their lives
- Idaho residents made 3,633 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2009, and it is estimated that this number will increase to 4,488 in 2010
Until early 2007, Idaho had a suicide prevention hotline that utilized local volunteer operators, with uncovered time rolling over to the National Suicide Lifeline. Since the closure of the Idaho hotline, the Lifeline has agreed, as a professional courtesy and at no cost to Idaho, to accept Idaho calls through the national Lifeline network. Currently, Idaho's Lifeline operators are located out of state and are unable to make referrals to important Idaho services. An Idaho hotline is a necessity to fill this critical need.
For more information, contact the Institute of Rural Health at 282-4436 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not crisis phone line. For emergency telephone support, call the Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK. Spanish speaking operators are available.