Wyoming: 24/7 State-Based Suicide Prevention Services Available for First Time
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 12, 2022
For the first time in state history, Wyomingites struggling with suicidal thoughts have a 24/7 lifeline available thanks to efforts by Governor Gordon and the Wyoming Legislature.
Governor Mark Gordon has announced that the state’s suicide lifeline services have been expanded and improved to offer full-time, Wyoming-based coverage 24 hours a day, every day.
“Wyoming citizens experiencing a mental health crisis and potentially suicidal thoughts can now be confident that on the other end of the line, they’re talking to someone who – as a fellow state resident – is familiar with our state and cares about our people,” the Governor said.
While the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been available via phone (1-800-273-TALK) for many years, calls from state residents before 2020 were answered by people outside the state. Wyoming-based services began that year, but hours were limited due to funding availability.
Full-time, all-day, every-day Wyoming-based coverage on the state’s suicide lifeline began last week.
Governor Gordon asked the Legislature to fund the service and expand its availability during the 2022 legislative session and appreciates their support for this initiative.
“We are confident that the personal connection and the ability to make localized referrals for help will be improved when Wyoming folks can speak to an understanding person in their own state,” Gordon added. “This critical and free service for those who need it is something I have emphasized for quite some time.”
Stefan Johansson, Wyoming Department of Health director, encouraged people in distress and concerned about suicidal thoughts they may be having to call the lifeline for help. “Talking with someone can make a difference. It can also be a good idea to call if you are worried about potential suicidal thoughts in a family member or close friend.”
Johansson noted that a simplified lifeline number (988) will be available nationwide on July 16.
“At that point, calls to both the new 988 number and the existing number will be answered,” he said. “Our department staff plans to promote the new number and consider further lifeline service improvements over time.”
More information on community-based suicide prevention resources in Wyoming can be found online on the Suicide Prevention page on the Wyoming Department of Health website.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of harming themselves, please call 911.