(CBS) — Suicide prevention hotlines in Illinois and elsewhere say the number of calls has gone up since the death of Robin Williams.
Almost from the minute after Robin Williams’ suicide Monday started to hit the news media — and social media — people started calling, says Stephanie Weber, executive director of Suicide Prevention Services of America.
“Many of our callers would say, ‘We know he struggled with this his entire life. So have we. And we’re afraid,’” Weber says. “And the first, most important thing they did was to be able to reach out. They didn’t let it get to the point where they couldn’t.”
Weber says the increase in calls to the suicide prevention hotline has been so great that they’ve brought in extra volunteers and backup staff.
And in fact, she says, they could use more volunteers.
Suicide Prevention Services of America is headquartered in Batavia, but calls from other parts of the country may be routed there.
Weber says about three-fourths of the 2,500 calls they get every month come from the Chicago area.