Suicide hotline launched

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 24, 2005

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A National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was launched Dec. 31, 2004, by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The hotline, 800-273-TALK, is part of the National Suicide Prevention Initiative -- a collaborative effort led by SAMHSA that incorporates the work of several other organizations in an effort to reduce the incidence of suicide in the nation.

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death among all age groups in the United States, accounting for about 30,000 deaths annually.

More than 100 crisis centers in 39 states participate in the new hotline, which is funded by a three-year, $6.6 million grant from SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services. The grant was awarded to the Mental Health Assn. of New York City and its partners, the National Assn. of State Mental Health Program Directors, Columbia University and Rutgers University.

Callers to the hotline will receive suicide prevention counseling from trained staff at the closest certified crisis center in the network. A nationwide public education campaign to raise awareness about suicide and the national hotline is under development.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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