Provided by PRS
September is Suicide Prevention Month. PRS, a nonprofit operating Northern Virginia’s crisis hotline and textline, is hosting its fifth annual #CallTextLive Campaign. The campaign engages the community by providing activities to create awareness about preventing suicide and calling or texting a hotline to receive help and support. Suicide is a serious issue locally and nationally, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people annually. It is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide and second leading cause for people aged 10-34.
“More than twice as many people die by suicide than homicide. It’s imperative that we make it okay to talk about issues that contribute to suicide and encourage people to get help. #CallTextLive uses social media, activities and events to drive community conversation. We want people to visit our website to find simple ways to effect change. Everyone can do something,” said Wendy Gradison, CEO, PRS.
Using the hashtag #CallTextLive, the campaign works to educate members of the community about resources available and actions they can take to bring awareness to suicide prevention and intervention. In fact, a simple call or text to a crisis hotline or textline often provides the empathetic, trained voice that someone in crisis needs to reduce their pain and provide alternatives and connections to care.
Click here to learn how to use the interactive event calendar to participate in the #CallTextLive Campaign. Campaign elements include Resource Mondays, featuring information designed to support populations at a higher risk for suicide behaviors. Fact Fridays promote facts and data about suicide to help the community understand the problem of suicide, and how to help when someone is in crisis.
Social media is an important part of the campaign and is used to engage people in sharing stories and photos on PRS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #CallTextLive hashtag. On World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10), PRS will host a Facebook Live event about how community members can prevent suicide. Sept. 12 is Selfie Day when friends, community, clients show support on social media, reducing the stigma of talking about suicide. The campaign also encourages people to crowdsource to support PRS’ CrisisLink Hotline/Textline since the increased demand for services requires more staff and volunteers to answer the call.
For every death, 278 people manage to move past thoughts of suicide and survive. PRS supports this through its CrisisLink program, which handled nearly 34,000 crisis calls and exchanged over 33,000 crisis text messages from the Northern Virginia region last year. The PRS CrisisLink Hotline can be reached at (800) 273-TALK  and the textline by texting “CONNECT” to 85511. PRS also now supports the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s hotline and chatline as part of the sub-network of crisis centers answering overflow calls and chats from around the nation.