There’s been a significant jump in the number of people calling crisis hotlines in Minnesota.
“We’ve had a 27 percent increase from the first quarter of 2008 to the last quarter of the year,” according to Linda Schmid, clinical director of Crisis Connection, which operates the Twin Cities crisis line, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in Minnesota, Men’s Line Twin Cities and Minnesota Link Vet. ” We’re seeing a higher proportion of men calling. I can only speculate anecdotally that these calls are about employment and financial issues and men are particularly distressed.”
Calls to the Minnesota suicide hotline are up 35 percent, she said.
Overall calls doubled in October, when the stock market crashed and the first large waves of layoffs were made.
“I can’t say that there’s a typical caller. Some people call for a referral (for help). Most want to talk; sometimes they just know they’re distressed and want to talk,” Schmid said.
The organization recorded 9,300 calls in the first quarter of 2008, and 11,500 in the last three months of the year. About 90 percent of the calls come from the Twin Cities, according to Schmid.
The experience of the Minnesota crisis organization is mirrored throughout the country. In Pennsylvania, calls to a crisis hotline have doubled, Oregon officials say more victims of domestic abuse are calling, a hotline in Tennessee reports they’re getting more suicide calls in a week than they used to get in a month, and Illinois has seen a significant increase in calls from people who are losing their homes.
(MPR file photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)