Duke Energy Foundation awards $100,000 grant to expand Indiana suicide prevention call centers

 Funding to help prepare for national “988” suicide prevention hotline in
 Grant coincides with Mental Health Awareness month in May
PLAINFIELD, Ind. – When the national “988” suicide prevention hotline goes into
service in 2022, Indiana’s suicide prevention call centers will be on the frontlines. The
Duke Energy Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Mental Health America–
Wabash Valley Region in Lafayette to expand staffing at two call centers currently
serving 87 of Indiana’s 92 counties.
A Better Way in Muncie, which operates one of the call centers, will receive half of the
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 as
the new, nationwide, easy-to-remember 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to
connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. The new number
will go into service in July 2022, and call volume from the higher-profile number is
expected to increase demands at Indiana suicide prevention call centers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 10th-leading
cause of death in Indiana, and the second-leading cause of death among Hoosiers
aged 15 to 34.
“COVID-19 shed a light on the mental health pandemic that already existed,” said
Brandi Christiansen, president and CEO of Mental Health America – Wabash Valley
Region. “The pandemic created financial hardships, increased isolation and loneliness,
anxiety and uncertainty. Our suicide hotlines are an important tool to get citizens the
help they desperately need.”

“We have used our Foundation funding throughout the pandemic to assist our
customers and the communities we serve,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan
Pinegar. “This funding addresses mental health support–another substantial need
resulting from the pandemic.”

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