Increase in calls to suicide hotline

(KSNT) – The death of actor Robin Williams two weeks ago has help put the National Suicide Hotline in the spotlight.

“Since his passing there’s been a much greater awareness of the national suicide prevention hotline, it’s been on people’s Facebook’s and their twitter feeds,” Kansas’ Counseling Center’s Executive Director Andy Brown says.

One counselor at the help center in Lawrence says not all calls are about suicide, sometimes people just need someone to talk to.

“Having someone be just like hyper-ventilating or crying or just really in a really dark desperate place and then by the end of the call you know sometimes we’ll be laughing or you, you can just really hear the change in their voice,” counselor Sarah Kaminski says.

His death has put the spot light on suicide prevention in the U.S. According to 30,000 Americans take their own lives each year. Williams’ death has prompted a 75% increase to the hotline in recent weeks. In Lawrence an average of 11 calls a day has climbed to 17.

“So you know, if it’s anxiety trying to talk them trough it, if it’s suicide trying to get them to a safe place,” Kaminski says.

Anyone is encouraged to call the hotline whether its seeking help for themselves or a loved one. You can reach the hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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