Louisiana suicide hotline may go broke

September 21, 2018 - 12:19 pm
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(WWL.com) 

New Orleans-based Via Link, which provides crisis intervention for many Louisiana residents who call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, could stop taking calls in December, as it doesn’t have enough funding to keep up with the increased demand.

Via Link CEO LaVondra Dobbs says much of their funding comes from donations and grants, plus they get a yearly $1,500 stipend from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 
 
She says they are also trying to get $175,000 from the Louisiana Department of Health, but so far a contract has not been signed. 
 
Dobbs says they receive about 40 calls a day originating from Louisiana, but that number is rising and they don't have enough cash to cover the increase. 
 
She says if Via Link can't provide this service anymore, the calls will go to a backup center and the wait time would be much longer to talk with a counselor.  

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