Beginning this week, trained phone responders will be available from 9 a.m. Saturdays to 1 a.m. Sundays. That's on top of the same hours Monday through Friday.
The hotline is slated to expand to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this fall after a new set of volunteers are trained. Currently, calls placed during overnight hours are answered by operators at crisis centers in other states.
The Idaho volunteers have handled more than 2,200 calls since the hotline, (800) 273-TALK, launched in November 2012.
Idaho has the sixth-highest suicide rate in the United States and suicide is the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in the state.
The ISPH team trains volunteers laypersons or professionals to become trained crisis phone responders and is actively recruiting for its next training cycle which begins August 2.
Volunteers receive approximately 42 hours of training and apprenticeship, and commit to one 4.5-hour hotline shift per week for one year, and can earn a Certified Crisis Worker credential after one years service.
To learn more, call 208-258-6992 or visit the hotline's website.