Resources that can save a life

Crisis centers offer free help to those in need

BALTIMORE, Md. - With the two notable suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain this week, the conversation about removing the stigma from mental illness has ramped up.

Crisis centers say suicide helplines have seen an increase in people reaching out for help and counselors say there are many free resources for those in need.

Two shocking deaths.  Two notable people.   One week.  The sudden suicides of designer Kate Spade and chef and journalist Anthony Bourdain have driven home the importance of mental health.

"We set records today for the number of calls on our National Suicide Hotline.  We've seen so many people upset, confused, angry, and suicidal themselves because they just don't understand," Grassroots Program Manager of Crisis Services, Tina Field, told WMAR 2 News.

Field said it's difficult for people to understand how two such accomplished people could take themselves from the world.  

"They've wondered if those people have all the money and resources and they weren't safe, what's going to keep them safe? 

The harsh reality is that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Prompting the need for centers with counselors like these whose services won't cost you a thing.

"You can call our hotlines, our walk-in for counseling 24/7 and it's completely free, the national suicide hotline is available all over the country, staffed by counselors also free," Field said.

Both of those resources can refer someone to the life-saving services they need.

"Being able to listen to and paid attention to is such a huge gift. We would hear about their story, many times people will start out: They're so upset, they're depressed, they're really struggling and we would want to know the details about that," said field.

From there, trained counselors assess the severity of the caller's needs.

"If we hear things that make us nervous, we'll come out and ask are you thinking about suicide or we'll say, it sounds like you're having a really hard time."

Somethings that seems so simple but can make all the difference. 

"Just through talking and connecting with another person they can find hope and find resources in themselves and then we can connect them to ways to keep themselves safe," said Field.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the Maryland Suicide Prevention Program at 2-1-1 and the press 1.  You can also contact the Statewide Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009.

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