Laramie Suicide Prevention Hotline Available 24/7 via Call or Text
At more than twice the national average, Wyoming's suicide rate is the highest in the country. State groups and community organizations are working to prevent suicide by setting up hotlines like the one recently established in Laramie.
Bob Leonard, youth coordinator of the Kiwanis Club of Laramie, says Wyoming's suicide rate rivals that of Greenland -- and Laramie, too, sees its share of these tragedies.
"In the school year 2014-2015, we had five suicides in our schools," Leonard says. "Three in the school district and two in the university."
Leonard says the Kiwanis Club wanted to do something about it. After consulting with Laramie schools, a task force put together a suicide prevention hotline in April 2015.
The hotline, staffed 24 hours a day by trained professionals, is available by call or text.
"A large percentage of the interactions are texting, which is kind of different from what we would expect," Leonard says. "We would expect a person would call and talk about their problems."
"For younger people, texting is their mode of communication," Leonard adds.
Leonard says the hotline is used each week and even receives calls and texts from outside the state.
The Laramie Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached anytime, day or night, by call or text at 307-977-7777.
"The idea is to keep that person involved, try to make them feel better, and then try to arrange some counseling for them," Leonard says.