Heart of Florida United Way Specialists are always prepared for a spike in calls when the nation learns of a celebrity suicide. But comedian Robin William’s suicide in August triggered an unexpected call to 211. A former client named Tom* called to say thank you.
He reached out just a few days after William’s suicide to say that three years ago a 2-1-1 specialist “saved my life.” Tom said if he had not received that needed support, he knows he would have killed himself that evening.
“The 2-1-1 Specialist really heard and understood my pain and why I wanted to die,” he said. He went on to say he is thankful to be alive, is doing great and takes every possible opportunity to educate others about the support he received from United Way’s 211 Crisis Helpline.
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Use it as an opportunity to remind someone you know that help is available. 2-1-1 answers over 1,000 crisis contacts per month and of those, almost 200 require suicide prevention services. Specialists are available 24/7/365 by phone, chat (hfuw.org) or by texting their zip code to 898-211. Tom said dialing 211 made the difference for him. It can make a difference for someone else too.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.