Expanded Wisconsin call center created to support people in emotional distress

(CBS 58) -- A new Wisconsin call center funded by a grant from the Department of Health Services (DHS) was recently created to support people in emotional distress. 

Officials say more Wisconsin calls to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are being answered in the state. Callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are more likely to speak with a Wisconsin-based counselor due to the expansion.

“No one should ever have to be alone when they feel hopeless,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.“ Adding capacity to handle Wisconsin calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is part of our ongoing effort to ensure the right supports are available at the right time for people in emotional distress. It’s about offering hope and promoting healing. By connecting, listening, and directing help to those who need it, we can reduce pain and save lives.”

The new call center is managed by Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin under a $2 million annual grant. All of the call centers accept calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

According to a news release, the Wisconsin Lifeline places Wisconsin in a good position to handle the predicted surge in calls when 988 becomes the new nationwide number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 2022. For now, anyone wishing to connect to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline should call 800-273-TALK (8255).

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