Local Organization Answers National Suicide Hotline Calls


SNYDERSVILLE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – An organization in the Poconos has expanded its crisis services for adults in Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties. The program is designed to help people feeling depressed, suicidal, or mentally unstable.

New Perspectives already provides three main services. Earlier this week, the non-profit took on another initiative to field national calls placed locally. 

New Perspectives off Neyhart Road in Snydersville is devoted to potentially saving lives.

“The need for services here has certainly increased,” says Rebecca Hilgert, Assistant Program Director.

New Perspectives already runs an on-site, temporary housing program for people feeling mentally unstable. The organization can even dispatch a mobile medical team to people’s homes.

Twenty-four hours a day, volunteers also answer crisis phone calls from a local hotline that serves Carbon, Monroe, and Pike counties.

“You get folks who are calling because they’re experiencing high levels of anxiety, depression, loss of a family member,” explains Michael Usino, Director of Crisis Services.

In addition, the organization now fields Pocono calls made to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

“We felt as though those calls can benefit from getting us here and being immediately linked to services,” Hilgert explains.

Before this, Pocono-based national calls were being answered in places like Pittsburg, Philadelphia, or even California. Now, locals are helping locals.

Usino says, “when you dial that number if your area code matches the area codes we serve, you’re going to get us.”

Currently, team members take the national calls seven days a week from midnight to 8 am. “But our goal is to eventually go into a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week process,” Usino remarks.

New Perspectives is also looking for volunteers to help answer calls.

If you or someone you know need to talk with someone, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK.

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