National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1–800–273–TALK (8255) ~ 24/7

In this study we evaluated the effectiveness of telephone crisis services/hotlines, examining proximal outcomes as measured by changes in callers’ suicide state from the beginning to the end of their calls to eight centers in the U.S. and again within 3 weeks of their calls. Between March 2003 and July 2004, 1,085 suicide callers were assessed during their calls and 380 (35.0%) participated in the follow-up assessment. Several key findings emerged. Seriously suicidal individuals reached out to telephone crisis services. Significant decreases in suicidality were found during the course of the telephone session, with continuing decreases in hopelessness and psychological pain in the following weeks. A caller’s intent to die at the end of the call was the most potent predictor of subsequent suicidality. The need to heighten outreach strategies and improve referrals is highlighted.