Teens under Pressure Update
I’m happy to share with you the following letter that the Dr. Phil show received from John Draper, Ph.D., the director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, informing us that with the broadcast and re-broadcast of our show “Teens under Pressure,” substantially more callers sought crisis assistance from the Lifeline’s national network of more than 140 call centers. The day the show aired, the Lifeline had a 45 percent increase in calls over the previous week.
I’ve always said that we use this show as a platform to make a difference, and this news just reminds me of why we do this. We were very sensitive to the research-based requirements those in the media need to adhere to when reporting on teen suicide. The “contagion effect” presents unique challenges in responsibly having a much-needed discussion about this critical issue. Those guidelines and others that parents can use in talking with their own children can be found on DrPhil.com.
Death by suicide is on the rise, and it’s the third leading cause of death among teens. Please reach out to a young person who is hurting, and let him or her know that there are resources to help. You can find more information on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Web site.
Here is the letter from John Draper, Ph.D., director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
I am writing on behalf of the federally-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to express our sincere gratitude to the Dr. Phil Show for performing a potentially lifesaving service for viewers via your recent broadcast on March 12th and rebroadcast of “Teens Under Pressure”. On that broadcast, your staff ensured that viewers were educated to the warning signs of suicide in youth and repeatedly displayed the Lifeline number with Dr. Phil’s direct call for action to viewers to seek help immediately if they or someone they knew were in crisis. As a result, substantially more callers sought crisis assistance from the Lifeline’s national network of 146 crisis call centers, centers which are linked to that toll free number.
On March 12th, the Lifeline network answered a total of 1,730 calls, a 45% increase in calls over the previous week. The peak period was between 3pm and 8pm EST. Unquestionably, Dr. Phil’s prompts to viewers to seek help enabled thousands of people in crisis to receive assistance that might have otherwise suffered with suicidal thoughts in isolation.
We hope that Dr. Phil and his staff will continue to promote public awareness of mental health issues and utilize the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We are truly grateful to Dr. Phil for his continual feature of the vital work of crisis call centers in his broadcasts to help the public become more aware of how access to lifesaving assistance is sometimes only a phone call away. We also appreciate his support of our efforts and participation by creating an avatar and sharing his story on our Lifeline Gallery: lifeline-gallery.org.
Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss further ways in which Dr. Phil can collaborate with the Lifeline to promote help and hope.
This entry was posted on Sunday, April 4th, 2010 at 1:08 am and is filed under Check This Out, Featured, Inspirational. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.