(Part 19: In the Open blog series)
by Stephanie Pericich
I would like for you to do something prior to reading this blog post: Please take two minutes to add the following contact to your mobile phone or device (or wherever you store important phone numbers.) I’ll wait.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The number that you just entered may indeed be a lifeline to someone who is troubled, distressed and/or experiencing suicidal thoughts. The line is staffed 24/7 by mental health professionals and trained volunteers who want to help. You can read more about this invaluable resource on NSPL’s website, which also features a ‘chat’button: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
By July 16, 2022, everyone in the United States will have access to the Lifeline by texting 988 (some areas already have access to this feature.) The 1-800 will remain operational, but 988 will provide an even faster and easier way to connect with the lifeline.
Years from now, as you review/update your phone’s contact list, perhaps you’ll pause when you arrive at the lifeline’s number. I hope that you’ll spend a moment in gratitude that the number has gone unused because it was never needed. But I also hope that you’ll retain the number in your phone, because you never know when you or someone else might need a lifeline.
Stephanie Pericich is a Parkway area wife, mother and an independent author of non-fiction and poetry. Ms. Pericich has volunteered to share her experiences and perspectives as a mother navigating the challenges of parenting for the purpose of encouraging community conversations about keeping kids safe and healthy.