More than 1 million people receive help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline each year. Evaluations show that most callers who were in crisis report decreased feelings of distress and hopelessness and fewer thoughts about suicide as a result of their calls.
However, evaluations also show that 43 percent of callers contemplating suicide had recurring thoughts about killing themselves in the weeks after a call, yet fewer than a quarter of them had seen a behavioral health care provider even four to six weeks following their crisis call.
SAMHSA’s Cooperative Agreements for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center Follow-Up are changing that. Launched in 2008, the program supports crisis centers within Lifeline’s network in systematically following up with Lifeline callers to see how they’re doing, offer emotional support and tips on coping strategies, and check to ensure that they follow up with treatment referrals. In 2013, the program expanded to include follow-up with people at risk for suicide who have been discharged from emergency rooms and inpatient hospital units. Eighteen crisis centers are currently participating. [READ MORE]