Dr. Phil Partners with Lifeline during Economic Crisis
Watch a Special Message in the Lifeline Gallery
By Kristin Blank
SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) is getting exposure on the small screen thanks to a strategic partnership with the syndicated daytime talk show, “Dr. Phil” and its host, Phil McGraw, Ph.D., M.A.
The partnership will use traditional and new media to offer help to people who are in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Suicide claims 32,000 lives a year in the United States, twice that of homicide, according to Federal data.
Dr. Phil’s support comes at a time when Lifeline’s workload is increasing. From 2007 to 2008,
Lifeline has seen a 36-percent increase in call volume.
The work has begun in force. The talk show psychologist recently created an avatar for the Lifeline Gallery. See SAMHSA News online, November/December 2008, for more information on the online forum filled with more than 420 stories from suicide survivors and suicide prevention advocates.
And as SAMHSA News previously reported, Dr. Phil promoted the Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK on a recent episode (see SAMHSA News online, January/February 2009).
The new avatar features a readily distinguishable digital version of the mustachioed doctor. Dr. Phil’s voice relays his virtual message, urging those who feel “helpless, trapped, or desperate” to seek help. He reminds them that the Lifeline is there, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“It is my hope that anyone in distress will consider the Lifeline Gallery a resource and know there is someone out there who will listen,” said Dr. Phil in a press release about the partnership.
In the Lifeline Gallery, people can view the Dr. Phil avatar, email it to friends, and access an embedded code that allows the avatar to be placed on social networking profiles and other Web sites.
During this time of economic crisis and in light of recent suicides completed while online, Dr. Phil and the Lifeline recognized a need for a message of help and hope to reach people by using the Internet’s capacity to reach millions.
SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1‐800‐273‐TALK (8255) is a nationwide network of 137 local crisis centers.
The syndicated series “Dr. Phil,” is broadcast on more than 214 stations representing 100 percent of the Nation. Dr. Phil received his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from North Texas State University with a dual area of emphasis in clinical and behavioral medicine.
Get more information about Dr. Phil’s partnership with SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. View Dr. Phil’s avatar and others or make your own in the Lifeline Gallery. Learn more about Dr. Phil and his show.
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