Inside the National Suicide Hotline: Preventing the Next Tragedy

Behind the scenes of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the debate over what policies and programs are effective when it comes to preventing suicide and saving lives in the U.S.:

“Studies done by Columbia University’s Dr. Madelyn Gould have found that about 12 percent of suicidal callers reported in a follow-up interview that talking to someone at the lifeline prevented them from harming or killing themselves. Almost half followed through with a counselor’s referral to seek emergency services or contacted mental health services, and about 80 percent of suicidal callers say in follow-up interviews that the lifeline has had something to do with keeping them alive.

“‘I don’t know if we’ll ever have solid evidence for what saves lives other than people saying they saved my life,’ says Draper. ‘It may be that the suicide rate could be higher if crisis lines weren’t in effect. I don’t know. All I can say is that what we’re hearing from callers is that this is having a real life-saving impact.'”

Source: Time Magazine
Published: Sep 13, 2013
Length: 18 minutes (4,686 words)