According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the suicide rate here in Arkansas is higher than the national average.
The Arkansas Crisis Center has made it their goal to provide everyone with the help they need to prevail over their own moment of crisis with the hope that those folks will use the experience to make positive changes in their lives.
You can think of the Arkansas Crisis Center as a suicide hotline, but it is more than that. Crisis Services Programming Manager Melissa Jackson told us it is about making human connections.
“We listen to every crisis,’ Jackson explained. “We do suicide prevention and crisis intervention, which means that we talk to anyone and everybody about their crisis. And crisis, is of course defined by the caller.”
The lines are staffed at all times of the day and into the night because depression does not pay attention to clocks.
Volunteer Paige Plumley has answered the call to help for two years. She shared there are too many in Arkansas who have not been reached or helped yet.
“It’s been a huge problem,” Plumley declared. “We get so many calls and it’s scary that, really, people aren’t really there to help them. Some of their family members, their friends; people are alone and they’re hurting and they need people to talk to them.”
The Center also houses the Northwest Arkansas 211 program, which helps people figure out what public assistance agency best fits their need.
“211 is a great way for people to navigate that,” Northwest Arkansas 211 Program Manager Marissa Fahrig said. “Tell us what their problem is and we can say, ‘hey go here.’ Maybe if that doesn’t work, try this and kind of help them navigate the landscape of everything there really is to offer here.”
Whether it is getting help from 211 or calling to talk to someone who cares, the Arkansas Crisis Center offers both free of judgement.
“It just helps you to see people for who they are and what they’re going through,” Plumley explained. “And it kind of changes the way that you treat people, which is great.”
The Arkansas Crisis Center staffs their hotline from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The number to call is 1-888 -CRISIS2 (274-7472). If you need to speak to someone when they are not available by phone, or through chat, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also click here to learn more about programs offered by the Arkansas Crisis Center.
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