(WKBN) – In July, 988 was launched as the three-digit National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number. Suicide is currently ranked 10th as the cause of death among all ages.
The Help Network of Northeast Ohio has been around for over 50 years. It provides assistance for individuals in Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. CEO Vince Brancaccio said the staff is trained to handle a crisis.
“Our staff is trained in suicide prevention and intervention. They use best practices. That staff has received an extensive amount of training surrounding somebody who is suicidal,” he said.
The local hotline for the Help Network of Northeast Ohio is 211, but both 988 and 211 will connect the caller with a trained staff member.
“With everything going on with the pandemic, the trauma, people are depressed. They are anxious. They are having thoughts where they are saying I feel hopeless or helpless,” Brancaccio said.
Of the 19 suicide hotlines in the state, only four are blended agencies, meaning they provide immediate support and also connect people to the information and resources they need.
“If they’re struggling with maintaining those basic needs, what we can do to help and where we can lead you in the right direction to get that help,” Brancaccio said.
Brancaccio said five people die from suicide each day in Ohio and 1,800 families are affected by the death of a loved one.
The Help Network of NorthEast Ohio says if you or anyone is struggling with mental health or suicide call for help at 211 or 988.