FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – September is national suicide prevention month, and one local non-profit is working to make prevention more accessible while saving lives.
RemedyLIVE is an anonymous 24/7 online chat center that works to help those battling with suicidal thoughts. Clinton Faupel, Co-Founder and Executive Director of RemedyLIVE, said suicide has increased over the past few years during the pandemic.
“I think that through the season of the pandemic, a lot of people were struggling with isolation,” Faupel said, “Self-medication went up, I know opioids have been a major issue in the last decade. And so I think that people are struggling and I think that the issue isn’t getting better. So the more that we can do as a society, as we can do as a country, to bring attention to suicide prevention, the better.”
The organization has been providing help via text to chat for the last decade when people text 494949. Faupel said they are excited to partner with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline soon, to be an exclusive text to chat partner.
“When someone from Indiana calls 988, or texts 988, there’s a Hoosier there to help them with finding those resources they need,” Faupel said.
Faupel said he believes the 988 lifeline has made it easier for people to know that the hotline exists.
“The long code that was part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for a long time was important. It was good but it was hard to remember for a lot of folks and 911 is the number we call for an emergency, 988 is what you call when you’re struggling with thoughts of hurting yourself. And so now, I think we’re seeing that people are far more aware of how easy it is to access,” Faupel said.
RemedyLIVE has completed 13.5 million interactions in their chat center since 2014, with people across the nation. In 2015, they launched the Get Schooled Tour which partners with over 215 schools across Northeast Indiana. Faupel said it’s been an exciting way for them to go into schools.
“That interactive experience where kids can use their phones to answer anonymous polling questions in real time gives courage to kids that are struggling to immediately, after the assembly, go and talk to someone in a talk room afterward,” Faupel said.
Faupel would like those who are battling with suicidal thoughts to know that there is help.
“People struggle, all kinds of people struggle, mental illness, thoughts of suicide, they don’t have a demographic. It’s the wealthy. It’s the poor. It’s the tall. It’s the short,” Faupel said, “Our compassion warmline we call it is just that: to meet you where you’re at, just to help you know that you’re not alone.”
The 494949 code directly connects you to someone with RemedyLIVE, and the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is also available 24/7.
RemedyLIVE is also looking to hire more crisis specialists for their team. If you would like to become an advocate, find the link to apply here.