Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services to Become Official Provider for National Crisis Chat Service



Nation achieves milestone of 24/7 chat service for people in suicidal crisis


CULVER CITY, Calif. January 15, 2015Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services today announced it has received a $122,500 grant from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (“Lifeline”) to join with six other crisis centers that combined will provide 24/7 crisis chat service for the network beginning Jan. 15.

Selected through a highly competitive process, Didi Hirsch and two other grantees joined four other core centers nationwide that together will provide 24/7 coverage for chat service. Lifeline, which coordinates free and confidential emotional support for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress through its SAMSHA funded network of more than 160 crisis centers, is offering Lifeline Crisis Chat in partnership with CONTACT USA, which provides crisis chat accreditation.    

“Many people in despair—especially teens and young adults—aren’t comfortable calling a hotline, but will reach out through chat,” says Didi Hirsch President/CEO Dr. Kita S. Curry. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people in pain to reach us.”

The two other crisis centers that received grants to join the Lifeline Crisis Chat network are Crisis Center of Johnson County (Iowa City, IA) and 2-1-1 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast (Lantana, FL).

One of Lifeline’s original network partners, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center was in the vanguard of crisis centers when it launched crisis chat in 2012, says Director Robert Stohr. About three-quarters of Didi Hirsch’s chat visitors are 25 or younger, he adds.

“The number of chats we take continues to grow,” Stohr says. “I’m proud our staff and volunteers have the training and expertise to handle any crisis chat situation.”

Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center will increase its chat hours to serve as Lifeline’s official provider between 1:00 and 9:30 pm PST. People in crisis can access this free and confidential service easily through the Lifeline Crisis Chat portal at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/lifelinechat.aspx. Visitors must read and accept the terms and conditions and then click on an icon to connect with a chat counselor.  

“The Suicide Prevention Center has been helping people in a crisis for almost 60 years,” Dr. Curry says. “Crisis Chat uses current technology to reach even more people.”