Behind the suicide hotline

A rare look at the people working to save lives of others.

The number is simple, but it can save a life.

1-800-272-8255 (TALK), a 24/7, 365-day suicide crisis hotline.

A call that we may feel we must make, but maybe it’s too painful or too shocking to share with someone we know.

“Choosing not to judge someone and just meeting them where they are so no matter what they’ve done in the past, let’s try to get you to a better place,” said Kandace Windfont, the crisis line specialist at The Harris Center in Houston.


“Getting people connected with supports is so important,” said Nicole Warren, the Crisis Line program manager at Integral Care in Austin. “We all have struggled and we all have gone through difficult times. It’s really brave to ask for help. I take a lot of strength.”


The facilities are two of the four crisis hotline centers in the state of Texas. And while they may work at two separate facilities, they serve a specific purpose: To get any caller help during a suicide crisis.

“I try to get as much information as possible and really try to dig deep into what’s going on right now,” Windfont said. “You’re calling me because you want help, and I want help, and that’s what I want to do.”

Along with simply listening, they’re specially trained to help the caller connect with local resources to help them navigate from dark into light.

“At a really difficult time, you can be there to show them that, it’s ok to ask for help,” said Warren. "We can provide that non-judgmental support for individuals in a really challenging time in their life. It’s really amazing to be a part of that.” 

“It’s not just me, it’s a whole room, and rooms everywhere around the country, that are not only prepared but are waiting for you to call,  said Windfont. “So that’s all it takes, call, and we’ll be here for you”

It’s a simple call, that could save a life.

“That there are people out there that want to help,” said Warren. “Definitely calling a crisis hotline is an excellent first step in getting connected with those supports.”

“It’s good when they do call back and you get the thank you because you get to hear the result, like hey you were the first step in this small chain of events to get me stabled. That helped save my life.”

Click here for more information on suicide prevention.

 

© 2017 KAGS-TV


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