The 211 crisis call center in Lantana answers roughly 300 calls a day. However, after the recent passing of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade the center has seen a spike in the number of calls about suicide.
“Pretty much every time you pick up the phone you don’t know what you are getting into,” said 211 resource specialist Kelly.
Kelly didn’t want to be identified by her full legal name because of the work she does at the call center.
“They may be in crisis or not, we’re here 24 hours a day to talk to anyone who needs someone to listen,” said Kelly.
You can reach the free service by calling 211 or texting your zip code to 898-211. The center also monitors its online chat and social media pages to help you.
However, before a trained specialist can take their first call they are required to go through an extensive 100-hour training.
“We spend a lot of time with them teaching them all of the protocols they are supposed to used to make sure they know how to de-escalate a crisis,” said executive director Sharon L’Herrou.
Calls range from someone needing a phone number to a cry for help. Recently, the majority of calls coming in are about suicide. But no matter the type of call a specialist receives they are trained to stay calm and caring.
“It’s a beautiful thing when you know you’re, you made the difference I had a woman call me back after Christmas and tell me I saved her life on Christmas Eve,” said Kelly.