Now more than ever our communities needs immediate support for thoughts of suicide and self-harm. The risk of suicide has been brought into sharp focus over the course of the pandemic.
Many people and communities experienced — and continue to experience — disproportionate trauma and distress from increasing rates of racism, gun violence, and community discord while having limited access to social and community support services. These conditions particularly impact people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people experiencing homelessness, and youth. Here, in Oregon, calls to suicide prevention hotlines have increased annually since 2016.
To support residents in our region, Multnomah County Behavioral Health staffs a 24/7 hotline with trained clinicians for anyone who needs help or knows someone who is at risk. People can also visit the urgent walk-in clinic for free and immediate in-person support during a crisis.
Now the public will have another resource as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network rolls out its 24/7 suicide hotline. Just call, text, or chat 988 to be connected to a trained counselor.
“When you’ve had a tough day and you’re feeling hopeless, a crisis line offers an immediate connection to someone on the phone who is willing to listen and take the time to offer compassion and support,” said Kevin Minor, Integrated Behavioral Health Manager in Multnomah County’s Integrated Clinical Services Division.
Minor said that when it comes to the crisis lines – whether they are locally or nationally- run – clients often report positive, accessible experiences with counselors that are easy to talk to.
Please help Multnomah County spread the word about both of these invaluable behavioral health resources:
For everyone across the United States
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
For County residents
Multnomah County Behavioral Health Call Center: 503-988-4888