'Like a busy emergency room': Calls to suicide crisis centers double since 2014


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline saw calls double from 2014 to 2017, an increase that coincides with rising suicide rates in the USA.

The lifeline answered more than 2 million calls in 2017, up from 1 million calls in 2014, according to its latest figures. More than 1.5 million calls reached the prevention network in 2015 and again in 2016.

The nationwide group includes more than 150 crisis centers, plus national backup centers to assist local lines.

The recent high-profile suicides of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have led to more public attention about the issue and various helpline services available nationwide, prompting more people to call.

"Due to media events and increased public awareness of suicide prevention and the lifeline’s services, more people are aware of this resource and are getting help and support," spokeswoman Frances Gonzalez said. "The lifeline has been proven to de-escalate moments of crisis and help people find hope."

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