BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is seeing a record number of crisis calls in late 2020, as callers express increased stress, anger, and other emotional concerns.
From July through September, the hotline received 3,497 calls and 294 texts or online chats, for a total of 3,791 total inbound crisis contacts.
"Q3 2020 was 13% higher call volume than Q3 2019," executive director Lee Flinn said. "This is the most contacts the hotline has ever had in any previous quarter."
Flinn says callers have cited increased levels of stress and anxiety amid the pandemic, but unlike previous years, callers are also expressing anger.
"We’re noticing what seems to be more anger from people seeking help; more people expressing anger and frustration," Flinn said. "We figure that’s probably because of the pandemic just going on and on, and Idahoans are just getting really tired and a lot of people are hurting."
Flinn says callers are also reporting problems within personal relationships including reports of domestic violence.
Although middle-aged men are most at risk for suicide in Idaho, the hotline receives calls from men, women, and children of all ages.
"We’ve received calls this year from people as young as 10 years old and as old as 85 years old," Flinn said.
You don't have to be suicidal to call and volunteers are taking calls 24 hours a day.
You can call or text 208-398-4357 or visit IdahoSuicidePrevention.org.