Idaho suicide hotline celebrates 4 years, adds 2nd phone line, texting support

After four years providing suicide prevention services, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is expanding its reach, the organization announced Monday morning in a news release.

The hotline has taken about 5,400 calls so far in 2016, and more than 14,000 calls since its inception. Its anniversary came Saturday, Nov. 26.

Now, organizers plan to boost the hotline’s services with an additional 208 area code phone number for people in crisis to call: 208-398-HELP (4357). The group’s national line is also still available: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The 208-area code line can also accept text messages between 3 p.m. and midnight, Mondays through Fridays.

The local line allows Idaho residents whose phones carry other area codes to still dial in to Idaho’s specific suicide prevention service, according to the news release. The hotline is also working to ensure calls from numbers with Idaho’s planned 986 area code are also sent to the right suicide prevention service when that second area code is rolled out next year.

“We are grateful for the amazing support we’ve had since launch, and excited to be providing crisis text response to better reach young people in Idaho,” said John Reusser, director for the organization, in a statement.

Erin Fenner: 208-377-6207, @erinfenner