988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline rolls out services in ASL. Here's how Central Floridians can use them
There are more than 800,000 Deaf or hard-of-hearing people in Florida. Over the past year calls to the 988 number have jumped by 30 percent in the Orlando area alone.
Starting today, Friday, September 8, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline now offers services in American Sign Language or ASL for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
That includes Central Floridians who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Residents can make video calls with trained Lifeline counselors who use ASL by clicking on the ASL Now buttonon the Lifeline’s website or by dialing 1-800-273-TALK.
In a few weeks, folks will also be able to dial 988 directly and have a video call with a counselor who uses ASL. Learn more about the ASL rollout here.
The American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide offers the following signs to look for in yourself and others when it comes to suicidal ideation:
If a person talks about:
- Killing themselves
- Feeling hopeless
- Having no reason to live
- Being a burden to others
- Feeling trapped
- Unbearable pain
Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
- Withdrawing from activities
- Isolating from family and friends
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:
- Loss of interest
- Relief/Sudden Improvement