After years of hard work and planning, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline will be ready to accept its first call at 1 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26.
Callers will be able to reach the hotline's local volunteer counselors at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). The hotline will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays. It will include a special line for veterans in crisis.
In early February, the line will also be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, said John Reusser, the hotline's executive director. The hotline's hours will increase incrementally, until the time when it's staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said. There's enough money in hand now to keep the line open for at least two years.
Eighteen volunteers have been trained to answer calls, said Reusser.
The hotline's toll free number has been in operation for some time. But until now, calls from Idaho have been automatically re-routed to counselors out-of-state. Reusser said the line is now fielding about 15 crisis calls a day that originate in Idaho.
Reusser and the hotline staffers are holding a press conference to announce the opening of the hotline at 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 26 on the Idaho State Capitol steps.