211 resource specialists train for handling suicide calls

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If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, you can find help here in Palm Beach County, Okeechobee or the Treasure Coast

211 HelpLine can be reached by Calling:

2-1-1
(561) 383-1112
(866) 882-2991
211 Helpline can also be reached by Texting, Online Chat, or Email:

>>>To Text: text your zip code to 898211 (available 24/7)

>>>Click here for Online Chat (available 10am -8pm every day)

>>>211 HelpLine via email (click on this link and scroll down)

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.

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