Local Suicide Hot Line Calls Soar Following Celebrity Deaths

The deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have triggered a ripple effect that is keeping Texas suicide hotlines hopping, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

"We sometimes had lulls between calls.  Now it's just call after call after call.  You put down the phone and another person calls," Margie Wright with the Texas Suicide Prevention Council says.

After the death of fashion designer Kate Spade, there was a rush on social media to public suicide hotlines.  Well-meaning people, looking for a way to help, put out the message that, if you're on the ledge, there is somewhere to turn to help.  The death of television star Anthony Bourdain only increased the fervor.

Wright says the good news is that people who may have been too afraid to seek help were coaxed out of the shadows.

"The bad part is that it also brings out consistent callers. People who call all the time," she says.  "It rattles them, too."

Nationwide, calls to the suicide hotline are up 25-percent. The Crisis Text line, which is national, has seen a 116-percent increase.

In Houston alone, The Harris Center Crisis Line has seen a 66-percent increase in crisis calls in the last 2 weeks made through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  

But it's not just people with mental health concerns who are calling the network of call centers that fall under the Texas Suicide Prevention Council.  Wright says volunteers are flooding, too, reaffirming her faith in humanity in an age of social media disconnection.

"My volunteer director says we had a total of 152 inquires yesterday"

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