Suicide by the numbers
Many of you probably don’t know that I’m on the Board of Headquarters Counseling Center a non-profit which provides suicide prevention training, counseling, and the 24⁄7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline staff handling the entire state of Kansas.
Why I’m involved is a story for another day, but I’ve been running late in helping with an online fundraiser for the organization because of work and prepping for DjangoCon last week. It’s extra sad because the social media fund raiser was my idea! However, at DjangoCon our amazing Dr. Russell Keith-Magee gave an extremely personal talk calling on all of us to do a better job around mental illness in the tech world.
Before becoming involved with HQCC, I wasn’t aware that suicide and depression sufferers are higher in our community. And I also was not aware at the scale at which an organization like Headquarters helps. What would you guess would be the number of suicide prevention calls HQCC receives in a month? We’re in Kansas right, so likely a smaller population than your state.
I would have guessed maybe 3-6 per day. Turns out it’s over 2,000 calls per month! Just in Kansas.
Sadly there is little government funding for this type of help. HQCC is always struggling just to get by year to year and staff the phone lines 24/7/365. Some napkin math turned up it costs around $20/hour to staff the phone lines, despite the vast majority of time it is staffed by volunteers.
Would you help us by paying for a single hour for next month? And if not would you please share this message on social media in hopes others will?
Here is Russell’s great talk: