After a few questions, it hit the crisis line worker: the man on the other end of the line was standing on the edge of the Crooked River Gorge and was ready to jump. He said he didn’t want to die, but couldn’t see any way out of the pain he was in. Our staff member made a personal connection with the caller and asked him to step back from the edge, talked him to his car and stayed on the phone until the caller drove to a treatment facility while other Oregon Partnership personnel made arrangements for his admission.
We have been stunned by an increase in the need for these “rescues,” actual interventions to thwart suicide attempts. OP handles more than 18,000 calls a year from people whose last best hope is that person on the other end of a telephone line. Of those calls only about ten a month require suicide rescues. Last week, however, our crisis line personnel performed five suicide rescues in a single two hour period.
This is the kind of work Oregon Partnership does on our Lifeline 24 hours a day, every day of every year.
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