July 26, 2017 [Lantana, FL] – Within the past week, we have heard of multiple suicides including famous rock star, Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park, as well as heartbreaking suicide-by-train incidents in our own backyard. These tragedies are a growing concern for 211 HelpLine and the community-at-large.
Shockingly, the suicide rate continues to rise locally as well as on the national level. Among Florida’s most populous counties, Palm Beach County ranks second in the number of suicides, with suicides being the ninth leading cause of death for Palm Beach County residents. What’s even more shocking is that this crisis is not just effecting young to middle-aged adults who battle mental illness – the suicide rate among children ages 10 to 14 has been steadily rising, doubling from 2007 to 2014 in the US. In 2014 alone, 425 young people died by suicide.
These statistics showcase just how important it is to increase the awareness of 211 HelpLine, as a confidential resource that is there to provide compassion, support and guidance for individuals looking to end their own life. Highly-trained suicide prevention counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dialing three simple numbers, 2-1-1 or by texting their zip code to 898-211.
For the staff at 211 HelpLine, suicide prevention is an everyday occurrence with an average of six suicidal individuals or those concerned about family or friends calling daily. In 2016, 211 HelpLine received just over 33,000 calls, texts, emails and chats that were related to Mental Health and Addictions, and of those, 2,300 were directly suicide related.
211 HelpLine is contracted with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to answer their 1-800-273-TALK in our region and is also nationally accredited by The American Association of Suicidology (AAS).
211 HelpLine believes it plays a substantial role in this crisis and wants to be at the forefront of the community’s suicide prevention efforts. Plans are currently being put in place to convene a community conversation that addresses the need to increase 211’s awareness as a life-saving resource.
About 211 HelpLine
211 HelpLine is a non-profit organization, servicing Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. 211 is a confidential, non-judgmental helpline available 24/7 to individuals who don’t know where to turn in their time of need. 211 is essentially the “gateway” to all other health, human service and governmental organizations in the community and can be accessed by simply dialing 2-1-1.