Dec 01, 2016
Imagine a scenario where a call to a funeral home could actually save a life. It may sound illogical, until you consider the fact that every 12 minutes a person in the United States chooses to commit suicide. When someone is feeling hopeless or alone, there is no telling who they might contact, and in some cases they will reach out to a funeral home.
ASD is known for taking “life’s most difficult calls.” Due to situations that have occurred in the past, we wanted to do our part to help when a call is answered at ASD from someone who indicates that they are considering taking their own life. ASD created the Suicide Prevention Call Support System to give our operators a way to seamlessly connect with suicide hotline operators 24/7.
ASD Call Specialists can now press an emergency button on their keyboard to immediately alert a Suicide Hotline in the funeral home’s local area when they are speaking to someone in crisis. The call can be connected to the hotline without the ASD Call Specialist interrupting the caller or placing him or her on hold. The hotline operator will hear a recording alerting them that a distressed and possibly suicidal person is on the line speaking to an ASD Call Specialist. This alert will instruct the hotline operator to press any key to be 3-way connected into the call.
According to funeral director, James Delaney of Delaney Funeral Home in Walpole, MA: “ASD handled a call for our funeral home from a gentleman who would have potentially taken his own life. They re-routed him over to the Suicide hotline and I couldn’t have been happier with the way the call was handled. It was absolutely spot-on perfect. The gentleman got the help he needed and he got to talk to someone who was a knowledgeable resource that helped him through the crisis.”
Although this is a rare situation, these calls have occurred at ASD. In the past, Call Specialists have been deeply affected and troubled by conversations they have had with those who stated they were contemplating suicide. Now, our staff does not have to shoulder this burden alone and have greater peace of mind knowing they have standby support 24/7 from experienced suicide hotline operators. This new, unparalleled solution ensures that callers in a suicidal crisis will receive the emotional support and help they need without any delays.
“It is an unfortunate fact that more than 100 suicides occur every day in the United States, and between 50 and 75 percent of people who attempt suicide talk about their thoughts and feelings before the act,” says ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor. “If ASD’s Suicide Prevention Call Support System can make a difference for even just one of those cases, all of our efforts creating this system will be worth it. By linking ASD staff to qualified, suicide prevention operators, we can help ensure that those who are suffering receive immediate counseling, guidance and support.”
Do you have any questions or comments about ASD’s new Suicide Prevention Call Support System? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com