According to the Center for Disease Control, 44,965 people died by suicide in the USA in 2015; that is approximately one suicide every 12 minutes. One of the top 10 causes of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years, suicide is a disease that is preventable with some help and assistance. ACTS Helpline is one of the tools available to the Prince William community and is a tool for all to use. As September is Suicide Awareness Month, knowing more information about our services can be beneficial.
What ACTS Helpline Offers
- A free, confidential, 24-hour help line for people to call when they need someone to talk to
- Trained, compassionate staff and volunteers who are ready to listen any time of the day or night
- Non-judgmental, non-advice-giving staff who listen and offer information about resources available
- Crisis intervention for trauma, suicide, sexual assault, domestic violence and substance abuse
“The Helpline is essentially a safe space where people can call and speak with someone for support. Sometimes people just want someone to hear them, not try to fix things, but just take the time to actively listen to what they have to say,” said Katherine Long, Helpline program director. The Helpline’s highly trained Crisis Listeners help callers clarify their thoughts and feelings.
ACTS Helpline plays an important role within the Prince William community, is certified by the American Association of Suicidology and participates in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the national suicide crisis line. It is a key tool in helping reduce the rate of death to suicide in the community.
In addition to answering calls, ACTS Helpline also has a service catering to the needs of the elderly called Senior Link. Senior Link provides calls to seniors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 365 days a year. Seniors can choose to receive a daily call or calls on certain days and times, helping to ease loneliness or providing medication reminders, in some cases.
Services Provided by ACTS
ACTS Helpline provides access to numerous resources relating to suicide, sexual assault, domestic violence and substance abuse. Helpline staff will direct callers as needed:
- Helpline staff are trained to deal with calls from people who are feeling suicidal or concerned about someone else who may be feeling suicidal. Crisis Listeners can adapt and speak with people who are experiencing different types of crisis. To reach the Helpline at any time, call 703-368-4141.
- ACTS Domestic Violence Services staff and volunteers are specifically trained to offer support, provide information and help with immediate safety planning.
Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 support can be reached by calling 703-221-4460.
- Victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse can call and speak with a Sexual Assault Specialist who will call the client back within a short period of time.
In addition to the hotline services, Helpline provides access to numerous resources. Individuals seeking information on a wide variety of human services can rely on the Helpline to provide the most up-to-date information and resources they may need.
Important Support Line Numbers:
Visit the ACTS website for more information about the services provided by ACTS or to volunteer.
written by Olivia Overman
With a mission to instill hope, provide relief and to promote self-sufficiency for our neighbors in crisis in the Greater Prince William area, ACTS is working toward creating a community where no one goes without or suffers alone. Through the services and programs we offer, we believe while people may come to us in crisis, they will leave filled with hope, concrete relief and the tools to succeed without us.