Crisis Hotline Calls Soar After Election
Early in the morning on November 9th—as the presidential election results rolled in—calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline reached an all-time high. On election day itself, the volume of calls had been two to three times higher than normal, but in a 1-hour period, beginning at 1:00 a.m., the national network handled an astonishing 660 calls. Other crisis and suicide prevention services saw similar increases—and the link to the election was undeniable.
Past upticks in calls occurred after the September 11th terror attacks in 2011 and the death of actor/comedian Robin Williams in 2014. After Williams’ death, the National Suicide Prevention toll-free number was promoted heavily by the media. Following the election, however, the number was not promoted. Instead, people all over the country issued desperate calls for help with their anxiety.
Although calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have leveled off in recent days, other crisis and suicide prevention services have continued to see higher-than-normal numbers of calls, texts, and messages. The Trevor Project, which provides support to LGBT youth, continues to receive twice the normal volume of daily calls.
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