Suicide Hotline call volume higher now than before the pandemic

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- The number of calls coming into the Suicide Prevention Hotline is higher now than it was before the pandemic, according to Life Skills representatives.

Everyone can do something to help prevent suicide by knowing warning signs and where to get help.

You aren’t alone.

Suicide is a large and growing public health problem. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States according to the CDC.

Suicide is responsible for about one death every 11 minutes.

And Katie Hopper, a counselor at Life Skills, expects calls to continue to rise as schools begin again.

“We anticipate that we are going to see an increase in people reaching out for help and we encourage people please reach out for help if you need support, structure, resources. There are a lot of places out there to get help and we would really encourage people to consider it. It doesn’t mean you are crazy. It doesn’t mean that you have to be in counseling forever or that you are severely mentally ill. It just means I need help right now, and that’s okay,” said Hopper.

With the pandemic continually adding pressure and isolation to people’s lives, calls to the Suicide Prevention Hotline have risen noticeably.

“It can be really overwhelming when we think about all the different things that we have going on right now. We have this pandemic. There’s a lot of social unrest. There’s a lot of impact on jobs. We have schools starting back in a very different way than we’ve ever seen before and so it’s really easy to get caught up in all the things. So, we have to kind of step back sometimes and just breathe and focus on yourself,” said Hopper.

The good news is, the number of suicides in Warren County remains at an average number this year compared to the past three years.

But with the continuing stressors, Rhonda Linden, a mental health professional at Rivendell Behavioral Health Services, recommends we all look out for one another.

“We need to watch out for each other first off, and we need to ask the hard questions. Are you okay? Is there anything that you need to tell me? And if it’s me and I feel like I can’t go on, take another step. Take one more step. Call. Reach out for help,” said Linden.

If you or someone you know needs help, reach out. There are people there who want to help you.

Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

“It doesn’t have to be like this. We are going to be okay and things are going to get better,” said Linden.