The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, whose number appeared in many news articles and social media posts, saw a 25 percent increase in calls nationally as of Friday morning, said John Draper, the lifeline's director. The organization did not immediately provide updated data following the weekend.
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Draper said the reason for the uptick is two-fold: a celebrity suicide can trigger suicidal thoughts in people who might already vulnerable to them, and publicizing the phone number to call for support increases odds that people will call.
"When the public is aware of a resource that can help them, it increases calls considerably," Draper said.
At the Long Island Crisis Center in Bellmore, New York, there were distinct spikes after Spade and Bourdain's deaths, according to Theresa Buhse, the associate executive director. The center asked for volunteers to pick up extra shifts over the weekend to meet demand.
Buhse said that the center typically fields eight to 10 calls routed through the national suicide hotline each day. On Wednesday, following the news about Spade, it received 15; on Thursday the number was down to 10, and then on Friday, it rose to 22.
(The center, which assists with other mental health issues as well as domestic violence and other crises, also receives dozens of calls each day through its main hotline number, a local line.)
Spade and Bourdain's deaths come at a time when suicide in general is on the rise. Last week, a report from federal health officials found that suicide rates have increased by 30 percent across the United States since 1999.
As the rates have gone up, so have calls to outreach centers. Draper said calls to the national lifeline increase every year, with more than 2 million calls answered last year.
The calls are free and confidential, he said. Callers speak to trained counselors who assess the severity of their problem and then connect them with local referrals.
The lifeline calls 911 if a counselor feels a caller's life is in imminent danger, but that doesn't happen often.
"People call because they want help," Draper said.
At the Crisis Text Line, counselors have a similar process, asking those who mention suicide if they have a plan and how soon they intend to act on it, said Dr. Shairi Turner, the group's chief medical officer.
"Then we try to de-escalate that situation, bring them from that hot moment to a cool moment, and help them to develop a safety plan that would include tapping into resources, a family or friend network, who can help you," Turner said.
In the rare event that crisis counselors aren't able to help, they call the police.
"We have interrupted suicides in progress by doing that," Turner said.
Calls to crisis lines are not always from the people in distress. Sometimes it's their loved ones.
That was the case on Sunday for Long Island Crisis Center hotline volunteer Angie Kitchell. She said there seemed to be a greater awareness after Spade and Bourdain's deaths of the need for people to check in on each other.
"They did mention the specific celebrities," Kitchell said of the calls she fielded. "Since these two famous suicides, a lot of people don't know how to handle this, so it's great that they pick up the phone and they call the hotlines and they find out what the right thing is to say."
The centers recommend knowing signs of depression and suicidal thinking and then calling the suicide lifeline for local resources.
At the Bozeman Help Center, Lundgren was reminded last week of other high-profile suicides, including Robin Williams in 2014 and Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington last year. If the previous patterns hold, call volumes will likely stay high for a while after last week's losses.
"It's very painful to lose a person, even a high-profile person," she said, adding that reaching out for support is the most important step. "Thoughts of suicide are painful and overwhelming and scary, both for the person who has them and for their friends and family as well."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.