First Choice Services reminds public National Suicide Hotline is available during COVID-19 uncertainty


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — With the coronavirus pandemic causing high levels of anxiety, and social distancing leading people to feel isolated, First Choice Services has sent out a release informing those struggling with despair and thoughts of suicide that the National Suicide Hotline is available for those who need help.

A release from First Choice Services states that West Virginia has the eight highest suicide rate in the country, and that each year, 4.2% of adults in the state have seriously contemplated suicide.

First Choice Services states that the group most likely to to be at risk for suicide is “middle aged and older people,” and that isolation and loneliness are key factors in suicide, which during this pandemic, these factors are likely to increase.

Despite the fact that there are increased risk factors during the social distancing and stay at home orders in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus for those contemplating suicide, First Choice Services states that evidence shows that speaking with someone from a service like the National Suicide Hotline can “keep a depressed person safe until a higher level of treatment can be initiated.”

While the number of calls to the National Suicide Hotline has remained steady, First Choice Services expects an increase of calls, and that current calls to the hotline have had many cite the coronavirus pandemic as a triggering incident.

Other factors include women being in violent relationships and feeling they have no escape, people who feel like they have no one to talk to about their stress, general anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic and worry for loved ones during this time of global shutdown, according to First Choice Services.

First Choice Services also states that anyone can call the National Suicide Hotline, even though not currently experiencing a suicidal crisis, and that if a caller should require higher-level services, they are able to connect the called to the right resources.

Those who need to call the National Suicide Hotline may do so at 1-800-273-8255, and the hotline service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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