Helpline Center shows suicide numbers are up in the Black Hills

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RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - The Helpline Center categorizes suicide calls into three levels of seriousness.

Level 1, where a person or their loved one is having thoughts of suicide. Level 2, where the person has a plan to commit suicide. Level 3, where the suicide plan is currently in action.

The Helpline Center doesn't see this as a negative, but more people are wanting help.

"It's a good thing that we have a 40% increase of individuals reaching out," says Audrey Nordine the Black Hills Coordinator with the Helpline Center.

The Helpline Center has made contact with nearly 500 individuals with suicidal thoughts here in the Black Hills last year.

"Those people have always been there. They've always been out there but just haven't known who to call," says Nordine.

Let's go back to the types of suicide related contacts. Level 1, there were 256 people in the Black Hills who they or someone they know had suicidal thoughts. Level 2 had 114 people who they had a plan of suicide, and level 3 where they were acting out their suicide was 10.

Totaling to 460 people who reached out for help.

"People are calling, people are talking about what's on their mind, what's controlling them," says Nordine.

And more than half of the time, law enforcement doesn't have to be called.

"We're able to de-escalate those phone calls. That we didn't need further action," says Nordine.

"Making sure they're leaving that phone call with a plan, with a comfort of a resource, and knowing that they have individuals in their life that they're able to look to," says Nordine.

So if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the Helpline Center's number is easy to remember, just call 211.