Every 64 hours, someone in North Dakota dies by suicide. It is the 9th leading cause of death in this state. What are we doing about this? There is hope. At FirstLink, located right here in Fargo, we answer our 2-1-1 and suicide helplines 24/7 to talk with people who are struggling with suicide. We get an average of 146 calls a day. Last year, of the nearly 2,000 suicide related calls we received, only 65 required us to call dispatch for help. That means 1,935 people last year were calmed from the point of suicide, simply by having someone listen.
At FirstLink, we see firsthand how many people are impacted by thoughts and feelings of suicide. But in many communities, there is a stigma around suicide that is keeping people in the dark. Suicide is scary. We must address the wound in order to move towards real healing.
This Giving Hearts Day, we are challenging you to Speak Up. In the next few weeks, we will be sharing the stories of those who have chosen to speak openly about suicide; both those who have struggled with it, and those who have lost loved ones because of it. We are so thankful for their courage. We ask that you would follow along with us as we share their stories, and teach how suicide can be prevented before it happens. At FirstLink, we speak up by answering the 2-1-1 and suicide helplines 24 hours a day.
Every phone call costs around $15. Often, the person on the other end of the line is on the brink of life and death. This Giving Hearts Day, your donation of $15 gives someone the chance to choose life. And on February 9th only, your gift can be multiplied by our generous donors. Choose to #SpeakUp and give life by supporting FirstLink. Maximize your impact by giving on February 9, 2017.
Cindy Miller and The FirstLink Team