BOISE -- Just a year ago, Idahoans in need of emotional support had no local hotline to call when faced with suicidal feelings or thoughts.
Now, just months after staffing a call center to help those in need, the Idaho Suicide Prevention hotline will add an evening shift to its hours of operation.
The hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK.
The newly expanded hours will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning July 1.
The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation and St. Luke's Health system gave gifts of $37,500 each to fund the expansion.
Those in need of help can call the hotline, and will be connected to trained Idaho phone responders who can refer them to key resources in their communities. The ISPH also will be able to offer follow-up calls to individuals seeking help.
“We are incredibly fortunate that St. Luke’s Health System, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and United Way of Treasure Valley have taken a clear stand on the serious problem of suicide in our state and demonstrated their commitment to saving lives by supporting the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline,” Hotline director John Reusser said.
Hotline organizers say the $75,000 donation is a great start to the program's long-term fundraising effort.